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Minister Sah quits

Sunday, October 16th, 2011
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The Minister for Land Reforms and Management Prabhu Sah tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday.

Sah was dragged into controversy for his alleged involvement in the murder of Hindu Yuva Sangh leader Kashi Tiwari. Earlier, the PM-headed Maoist Parliamentary Board had decided to defend Sah and seek resignation of Defense Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari for his secessionist remark.

The UCPN (Maoist) issued the statement saying the party decided to recall Sah so as to enable the parties to focus on peace and constitution-making processes instead of the resignation issue.

Family members of Kashi Nath Tiwari on Wednesday had made public blood money paid to them asking them not to implicate Sah in Tiwari´s murder. According to Tiwari´s widow Babita, Nagendra Jha, a former chief district officer (CDO) of Parsa and currently Joint Secretary at the Land Reform Ministry, offered Rs 800,000 asking them to say publicly that they don´t know who Sah.

However, Sah was cleared of all charges by the District Attorney’s Office, Parsa on Wednesday. The District Attorney didn’t file a case against him. The Parsa District Police Office had issued arrest warrant against Sah, which he claimed to have never received.

The opposition NC and UML have been obstructing parliament proceedings since last Thursday demanding the resignation of Ministers Sah and Bhandari. NC Parliamentary Party spokesperson Nabindra Raj Joshi said the protest would continue until the government calls the resignation of minister Bhandari too.

MJF (D) is scheduled to meet on Monday morning to decide whether Bhandari should resign or not. Last month, Bhandari had said that 22 districts in the Madhes could secede and no law could stop 22 Tarai-Madhes districts from seceding if discrimination against them continues.

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