Sena MP resigns from RS panel

MUMBAI, NOV. 1. In what could lead to fresh strains in ties between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena, the Rajya Sabha member of the Shiv Sena, Mr. Sanjay Nirupam, has resigned from the House Committee of Rajya Sabha in protest against the appointment of the former BJP president, Mr. Bangaru Laxman, as chairman of the committee.

In a letter to the Vice-President, Mr. Krishan Kant, Mr. Nirupam expressed his inability to work under a person, who was facing a probe on charges of irregularities, Sena sources said. Mr. Laxman had quit as BJP chief in disgrace in the wake of the Tehelka expose.

Underlining the need for probity in public life, he expressed opposition to rehabilitating accused persons in such a manner, the sources said, adding that the Sena MP had not attended the first meeting of the committee convened by Mr. Laxman on October 30.

On whether Mr. Nirupam had sought the Sena chief, Mr. Bal Thackeray's permission before tendering his resignation, the sources said,``how could he have taken such a big decision without consulting the party high command?''

Mr. Nirupam's charge about the alleged involvement of the Prime Minister's Office in the UTI scandal had led to a row during the last session of Parliament and the ties between the Shiv Sena and the BJP had reached a new low.


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