Rajasthan Minister of State for Rural Development and Waqf Amin Khan, whose comment about President Pratibha Patil led to an uproar, has resigned. The Minister, fourth-time MLA from Sheo in Barmer district, tendered his resignation on Thursday following a directive from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who made a quick visit to Delhi the previous evening to consult the party bosses in the wake of the controversy.
The Chief Minister, who returned to Jaipur from Delhi in the morning, forwarded the resignation to Governor Shivraj Patil. The Chief Minister was also closeted with the Governor for an hour in Raj Bhavan in the afternoon.
Raj Bhavan sources said in the evening that the resignation has been accepted. Prior to Mr. Gehlot's meeting the Governor, Mr. Khan, accompanied by Barmer MP Harish Choudhary, called on the Chief Minister at his official residence.
Mr. Khan was at Nathadwara in Rajsamand district when the news about the aftermath of his comments on the President was carried to him by media persons on Wednesday night.
In the middle of the night he left for Jaipur by road leaving behind his security and personnel. The day had witnessed protests from youth belonging to a particular community in some of the districts of Rajasthan against Mr. Khan.
The protesters also burnt his effigies.
“I am following the instructions of the Chief Minister. I have explained my position. I never meant any disrespect to the President,” said Mr. Khan, who has already apologised over the matter, when contacted.
“I am with the Congress party and my leader,” he asserted.
Mr. Khan's exit reduces Muslim presence in the Rajasthan Council of Ministers by half. He was one of the two Muslim Ministers, the other being Health and Family Welfare Minister Imaduddin Ahmed.