NATIONAL

Another NCP Minister quits

MUMBAI, MARCH 11. The Maharashtra Labour Minister, Nawab Malik, today submitted his resignation from the Cabinet saying that he did not want to continue in office in an atmosphere of doubt.

Mr. Malik was among the four Ministers of the earlier Democratic Front Government who was probed by the Justice P.B. Sawant Commission of enquiry for corruption.

Till yesterday, Mr. Malik said he had no reason to quit.

Mr. Malik told reporters that he had submitted his resignation to the NCP president, Sharad Pawar, and to the Deputy Chief Minister, R.R. Patil.

Yesterday another Minister, Suresh Jain, resigned as he was indicted of corruption and maladministration by Justice Sawant's report.

Mr. Malik said that there were no charges of corruption against him and on the contrary it was the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena leaders who had taken all the questionable decisions. It was they who were responsible for the corruption that he was accused of. He said the Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, had given him a clean chit.

Mr. Malik said that there was absolutely no pressure from the party to quit. There are only contempt of court charges against him, Mr. Malik said. The party would not have made him Minister again if he was guilty, he pointed out.

He said he would wait till the task force appointed by the Chief Minister to study Justice Sawant's enquiry report would come out with its recommendations after three months.

He said the matter should be debated on the floor of the legislature, which begins its session on March 14. The Government is planning to table the report in the Assembly.