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Tiwari quits over ‘sex scam’
HYDERABAD, DEC 26 (IANS):
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Published on 27 Dec. 2009 1:08 AM IST
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Andhra Pradesh Governor N.D. Tiwari resigned Saturday citing “health grounds” after allegations of his involvement in a sex scandal. “N.D. Tiwari submitted his resignation to President Pratibha Patil on health grounds,” said a brief statement from Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor. Congress sources say that Jharkhand Governor K. Sankaranarayanan will hold additional charge of Andhra Pradesh. ABN channel, owned by Telugu daily Andhra Jyothi, Friday showed explicit clippings purported to be of Tiwari involved in a sex romp. It claimed that the pictures were taken in the Raj Bhavan. President’s secretary Christy Fernandez confirmed that Tiwari had quit. “Yes, he sent in his resignation to President Pratibha Patil,” Fernandez told IANS. A day after the channel showed pictures of an elderly man purported to be Tiwari with three young women in bed, the pressure was mounting on the 86-year-old leader to quit on moral grounds. Sources said Tiwari resigned after the central government asked him to quit on receipt of a report from state government over the alleged sex scandal. The Congress party welcomed Tiwari’s resignation. “I think he has taken an appropriate decision keeping in view the high standards of public life. We welcome it,” AICC media department chief Janardan Dwivedi told reporters in Delhi. Earlier, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi discussed the developments with senior Congress leaders Pranab Mukherjee and A.K. Antony in New Delhi. The channel quoted Radhika, a woman from Uttarakhand, as saying that she sent the young women to the Raj Bhavan on Tiwari’s request through his aide. She claimed that she was “exposing” the governor as he failed to keep his word to provide her a mining licence in Andhra Pradesh. On a petition by the governor’s officer on special duty Aryandra Sharma, the state high court Friday ordered the channel to stop the telecast of the tape and adjourned hearing in the case to Dec 30. The governor’s office issued a statement Friday evening terming the story as “malicious”. It alleged that the tapes were fabricated and untruthful. Andhra Jyothi management denied that the tapes were fabricated and said it was trying to get the court stay order revoked. The channel’s Editor-in-Chief Vemuri Radhakrishna said that they have evidence to back what they have shown. “Let them serve defamation notice. We are even ready to deal with the issue”. The scandal rocked the state at a time when it was already embroiled in violent agitation over separate statehood to Telangana. According to sources, the central government was already looking for a replacement to Tiwari in view of the constitutional crisis triggered by the en masse resignations of the legislators over the Telangana issue. The sources pointed out that possible President’s Rule would require an active governor and in view of Tiwari’s poor health the government was trying to find a successor. Tiwari, who has been chief minister of two states (Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) and held important portfolios in union governments, was even a contender for prime ministership when he was upstaged by P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1991. TDP seeks CBI probe Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu Saturday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the sex scandal allegedly involving outgoing Andhra Pradesh Governor N.D. Tiwari. Talking to reporters after Tiwari’s resignation, Naidu said since there were allegations of some MPs being also involved in the scandal, the central government should order a CBI inquiry. Naidu said this was the first time in the country that a state governor had to resign on allegations of involvement in a sex scandal. Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan said the incident showed the degeneration of public life in India. Women’s groups, who had been staging protests against Tiwari for the last two days, demanded that police book a criminal case against him. The All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) demanded that Tiwari be arrested and tried.

 
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