Rape-accused Rajasthan minister Babulal Nagar was forced to resign on Thursday after chief minister Ashok Gehlot left him with no choice, according to sources privy to the development.
The dairy, khadi and rural industries minister sent his resignation to the chief minister’s office after holding out for two days amid public outcry in the state where polls are due in two months.
The backlash over Nagar staying put was making the Congress jittery, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi scheduled to visit Rajasthan on September 21 and 22.
Nagar, 53, claimed no one had asked him resign. “I am not guilty. I have resigned on moral grounds so that an impartial probe can be carried out.”
The police had booked Nagar on Tuesday after a 35-year-old woman complained he had raped her at his official residence in Civil Lines on September 11. She said the minister had called her to the house on the pretext of giving her a job.
The woman also accused Nagar of threatening and beating her up. She has demanded security, claiming the minister and his wife have been warning her of dire consequences if she does not withdraw the case.
Nagar dismissed all the allegations. “I am in a strong position to win the assembly elections from my constituency Dudu. Some people cannot digest this, so they want to malign me.”
The Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department has taken over the probe because it involves an MLA. The opposition BJP, however, has demanded a CBI probe.