NATIONAL

Resignation is a drama: BJP

NEW DELHI, JULY 24. The Bharatiya Janata Party today described the resignation of Coal Minister Shibu Soren, wanted by Jharkhand Police in a criminal case, as an "eyewash and political drama.''

The party vice-president, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said it was a "hapless Prime Minister's helpless decision'' to seek Mr. Soren's resignation through the Minister's personal staff. "The Prime Minister sought the resignation of the Coal Minister through care of and it was submitted to him through care of. It is shameless, undemocratic and unheard of in the country's parliamentary democratic history,'' Mr. Naqvi told reporters.

The BJP leader said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took about 10 days to decide if he should seek the resignation of Mr. Soren or dismiss him. "This has only harmed the dignity and honour of the Central Government and the Congress which is leading the coalition of the UPA Government has only been defending the errant Minister.''

`PM's statement needed'

The BJP wanted the Prime Minister to make a statement in Parliament about the Government's stand on "tainted" Ministers, particularly on Mr. Soren. "The Prime Minister owes an explanation to the nation on the whereabouts of the Coal Minister,'' Mr. Naqvi said.

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