TAMIL NADU

BJP opposed to `tainted' ministers in States too

TIRUCHI, AUG. 1. The Bharatiya Janata Party's stand against "criminals" occupying vital positions was applicable to the Central as well as State Governments, L. Ganesan, all-India secretary, said today.

Responding to a query from presspersons here, Mr. Ganesan said the party was against individuals charge-sheeted under criminal charges holding minister's post and questioned the rationale behind the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, Lalu Prasad, who was charge-sheeted and jailed in the fodder scam, holding the railway minister's post.

Mr. Ganesan, however, sought to drive a distinction between criminal charges on account of rape, abduction, murder, forgery etc., and `political crimes.'

It was improper for the Prime Minister to have responded to the demand of the Opposition parties on the `tainted' ministers issue from foreign soil. "To state that the United Progressive Alliance would be on a sticky wicket by divesting certain individuals of ministership, owing to `coalition compulsion' was to admit that the Congress does not have the people's mandate," he said.

On claims and counterclaims of action by the ruling party and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on the Stamp Paper Scam case, he said the BJP hoped the accused would be brought to justice, irrespective of their political background.

The BJP, during its regime, supported privatisation of public sector undertakings as the Governments were supposed to concentrate on governance.

To a query, he said, the State Government should confine itself to administering temples and desist from changing the dates of rituals.

Mr. Ganesan also said the State unit would go on a fund raising drive from September to November.

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