Union minister Arun Jaitley today virtually ruled out resignation of Uma Bharti from the Cabinet following the Supreme Court order in Babri Masjid demolition case and described as “hypothetical” the possibility of the ruling having any bearing in selection of candidates for presidential and vice presidential polls.
“This case is going on since 1993. Somehow it is going on and no new situation has arisen. So the situation which was prevailing will continue,” he told reporters. He was asked whether the ruling would mean resignation of Bharti, the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, from the Union Cabinet and Kalyan Singh as Rajasthan Governor.
Top BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and Bharti will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case as the Supreme Court today allowed the CBI plea to restore the charge against them.
The apex court, however, noted that Rajasthan Governor Singh enjoys Constitutional immunity and can be tried only after he ceases to hold the office. Singh was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1992.
Asked whether Singh and Bharti should resign following the charge sheet in the case, Jaitley shot back saying if that is the criteria then some of the current Congress Chief Ministers will have to quit.
“There have been ministers, there have been deputy prime ministers… If charge sheet is the rule (to resign), then just calculate, how many Congress chief ministers will (have to go),” he said.
When asked whether today’s apex court ruling will impact selection of candidates for the posts of president and vice president, Jaitley merely said “it is hypothetical.”
While the term of President Pranab Mukherjee is coming to an end on July 24, the term of Vice President Hamid Ansari ends on August 10.
There have been talks that BJP veterans Advani and Joshi could be considered as possible candidates for the two top constitutional posts. But there has been no official word so far from ruling NDA.