Scam-tainted minister Virbhadra Singh quits

Scam-tainted minister Virbhadra Singh quits

Scam-tainted minister Virbhadra Singh quits

Union Minister for Small, Micro and Medium Industries, Virbhadra Singh, resigned from the Cabinet on Tuesday after a court in Himachal Pradesh framed corruption charges against him in a 23-year-old case.

Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence before announcing his resignation from the Union Council of Ministers.

“I have given my papers to the Prime Minister,” Singh said, adding that he was not under any pressure to quit. “This is my moral duty as I did not want to embarrass my party, PM or government,” the septuagenarian said. President Pratibha Patil has accepted the resignation, said a statement released by Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The statement added that Vilasrao Deshmukh, in-charge of the Science & Technology and Earth Sciences ministries, has been given the additional responsibility of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Singh, a five-time chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, resigned a day after a Shimla court framed charges of corruption and criminal misconduct against him and wife Pratibha Singh.

The veteran leader, who claimed the allegations were “fabricated,” accused the Himachal Pradesh government, led by Prem Kumar Dhumal, of levelling “concocted” charges against him.

 

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