“Why has the convicted Minister not been removed?”

A fortnight after Babubhai B. Bokhiriya was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for illegal mining in a case dating back to 2006 by the Porbandar Sessions Court, he continues to be Water Resources Minister in the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. On Friday, a delegation of Congressmen from the State met President Pranab Mukherjee to demand that he be asked to step down in the “best democratic tradition.”

It was a case of double standards, Congress spokesperson Bhakta Charan Das said: while the BJP was quick to demand resignations of members of other political parties on the basis of mere allegations, Mr. Bokhiriya was convicted by a court of law. “Why has the convicted Bokhiriya not been removed? This raises a big question mark. Or is Modi also a beneficiary?” Mr. Das asked. “The BJP is not a party with a difference; rather it is a party with a different yardstick.”

Gujarat PCC chief Arjun Modhwadia, CLP leader Shankersinh Vaghela and former CLP leader Shaktisinh Gohil, who were part of the delegation that met the President, were also sharp in their criticism. While Mr. Modhwadia described the Modi administration as the “most corrupt government in the country,” Mr. Vaghela pointed out that over 30 sitting BJP MLAs were facing criminal charges in the State. Mr. Gohil said, “Mr. Modi and morals can never travel together. He has been going around the country trumpeting his so-called development model. But if it’s so good and clean, then why does he have 32 MLAs who have a serious criminal background?”