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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

MP minister sacked for loose remarks on CM's wife

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, April 17, 2013
First Published: 12:16 IST(17/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:42 IST(18/4/2013)

Tribal affairs minister Vijay Shah's relentless efforts at trying to pacify an angry Shivraj Singh Chouhan could not save the day for him.

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In the early hours of Wednesday he had to tender his resignation to the chief minister, who sent it to the governor recommending its acceptance in the morning.

Though Shah earned the wrath of the chief minister and the state party leadership wrath for his demeaning words on women in general, what did him in was a loose comment on Chouhan's wife Sadhna Singh.

"Bhabhi ji chalo. Bhai-sahab ke saath to roz jaate ho, kabhi dewaron ke saath chalo. Maine bhabhi ki taraf dekha …kya bolti? (Bhabhiji, why don't we go out sometime? You go out with bhai-sahab everyday, once in a while accompany the brother-in-law too)," he had said at a public function in Jhabua on Sunday.

Shah reached Bhopal after midnight on Wednesday on the instructions of state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar, but by then the decision to sack him had been taken in a meeting attended by Chouhan, Tomar and party general secretary (organisation) Arvind Menon.

As per party insiders, Tomar was not actually in favour of sacking Shah from the cabinet as he didn't find anything objectionable in the video recording of Shah's speech in Jhabua. He, however, had to bow to Chouhan's wishes.

The minister drove straight to Tomar's residence and as instructed by the latter gave his resignation letter and also a letter of apology addressed to Chouhan.

He tried to put the blame on the media for "distorting his statements as part of a conspiracy against him".

Thereafter, Tomar and Menon took Shah to CM House, at around 2am in the morning. Shah reportedly told Chouhan that he had not made any indecent statement, but an upset chief minister was not in a mood to give a second thought.

On Wednesday morning, Chouhan sent his principal secretary Manoj Shrivastava to Raj Bhavan to hand over the resignation to the governor Ram Naresh Yadav, who accepted it immediately.

On Wednesday, at the inauguration function of a MEMU (mainline electric multiple unit) train at Bhopal railway station, Chouhan told assembled reporters: "Vijay Shah came to see me last night. He tendered his resignation. I have forwarded the same to the governor with my recommendation to accept it."

Meanwhile, the state Congress termed this as a "victory" of their "Sadhna ke samman mein Congress maidan mein" campaign.

Party leaders like district Congress president PC Sharma, state Congress media-in-charge Manak Agarwal, Shantilal Padiyar and Abha Singh also reached Shyamala Hills police station and lodged a complaint against Shah for his remarks against women.

Shah is a five-time MLA who has been winning assembly elections right from 1990. A tribal leader, he hails from a royal family and wields much influence in Harsud and adjoining areas.

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