Shamed, ministers still claim moral high ground

Shamed, ministers still claim moral high ground

This could be termed the height of irony, even in the strange world of politics.

Two ministers in Parkash Singh Badal-led government, convicted in separate cases and even handed down prison sentences, have resigned on high "moral grounds".

Cabinet minister Jagir Kaur was found guilty of forcing her daughter to get an abortion as well as abduction and criminal conspiracy.

The agriculture minister Tota Singh was convicted of misuse of official machinery.

Both ministers claimed to hold high "moral grounds" while resigning from their posts.

Jagir Kaur was forced to resign in March after a CBI special court in Patiala sentenced her to five-year imprisonment.

The lone woman minister in the Badal government, was cleared of the murder charge of her 19-year-old daughter, Harpreet Kaur.

Harpreet secretly married a youth, Kamaljit Singh, who belonged to a lower caste. She died under mysterious circumstances in April 2000.

Tota Singh was forced to resign after a vigilance court in Mohali, convicted him of misuse of official machinery on Saturday.

He was held guilty of forging the log book of an official car belonging to the Punjab School Education Board while he was education minister during 1997 to 2002.

He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment. But he was allowed bail by the court immediately.

Tota Singh waited for over three days before handing over his resignation.

"He had offered to resign after the court’s verdict. However, I had asked him to wait," said chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

But not everyone is buying the high "moral grounds" stand of the ex-ministers.

"What moral grounds they are talking about? They have been convicted by courts after following the due process of law. The truth is that they have been convicted and are like  other convicted criminals. They should have been sacked from their posts by the chief minister," said a former minister of the Congress government.

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