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Shashi Tharoor submits resignation

By Sheela Bhatt
Last updated on: April 19, 2010 00:18 IST
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It is final. Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor is quitting the government under pressure from the Congress party.

Tharoor submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he met him for the second time on Sunday night following a meeting of the Congress core members.

"The President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister has accepted the resignation of Shashi Tharoor, MoS in MEA from the council of ministers with immediate effect," Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said.

After four days of intense tussle, Tharoor has been the shown the door as his position was not defendable for the party.

Tharoor, 54, a newcomer to politics from international diplomacy, was summoned by Dr Singh to his residence for a second time and asked resign.

Tharoor, a former under secretary general in the United Nations, becomes the first minister in the United Progressive Alliance-II to go under a cloud of corruption charges.

The continuance of Tharoor, a first time Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, who courted controversies throughout his 11-month stint, became untenable in the government ever since the Indian Premier League controversy exploded.

He got into serious problems after IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi revealed that Tharoor's friend Sunanda Pushkar had 'sweat' equity in Rendezvous Sports World, heading the consortium that owns the Kochi team. It was later disclosed that Pushkar got equity worth Rs 70 crore.

That Pushkar offered to surrender the equity and quit RSW on Sunday failed to convince the Congress top brass which met at the PM's residence to finalise its strategy before Parliament resumes on Monday.

Singh, who met party chief Sonia Gandhi one-on-one before the core group discussions, consulted her again before recommending that Tharoor's resignation's be accepted by the President.

With inputs from PTI

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi