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T R Baalu must resign: AIADMK MP
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | April 25, 2008 11:56 IST
The business of Rajya Sabha is unlikely to return to normal until Shipping Minister T R Baalu resigns, said All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Member of Parliament Dr V Maitreyan while talking to rediff.com.
"Baalu must resign. He and the Prime Minister's Office have misused powers for personal gains," Dr Maitreyan said.
On Thursday, Dr Maitreyan was asked to leave the Rajya Sabha by Chairman Hamid Ansari after he sought the prime minister's response to charges against his Cabinet colleague Baalu favouring his sons' firms.
Dr V Maitreyan said, "The National Democratic Alliance and the United National Progressive Alliance, both oppostion camps, are supporting my claims and I will take this matter to its logical conclusion."
On Thursday after lunch, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Third Front members got united protesting against Ansari asking Dr Maitreyan to "withdraw" from the House by invoking a rarely used rule against the member under Rule 255.
Baalu, who is a confidant of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi, is in deep political trouble because he himself has admitted in Rajya Sabha that he has used his position to get favours for his companies.
Baalu wanted natural gas much cheaper than the market price using his clout for his son's company King Power Corporation.
According to a media report, the so-called power plant run by his son Selva Kumar does not exist.
He was also seeking gas for his other son Raj Kumar's company King Chemicals, a petrochemical plant that has been declared sick under Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction.
Baalu is in bitter controversy regarding the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project. For some reason, he is aggressively pushing the project.
Dr Maitreyan argues that in view of Baalu's own admission, it is clear that he "used" his office to benefit two firms in which his wives and sons have financial interest.
"What more do you want as a proof of corruption? Our leader Dr Jayalalithaa has asked for Baalu and Dr Singh's resignation. Baalu has said on the Floor of the House, 'Yes, I did put in the words' to favour his companies. On eight occasions, the PMO has also written letters to help Baalu's firms. If this is not a scam, then what is?" Dr Maitreyan asked.
Baalu has defended his act by saying that he was trying to save his sick companies from closing down and he was trying to save employment of the labourers.
Dr V Maitreyan strongly rejects the defence of Baalu. He asked, "There are more than 6,000 sick industrial units in government and states. Why is Baalu not "putting in words" with help of PMO to save those companies?"
Maitreyan said, "In our system, no minister can use the power for personal gain. We distrust him. He must resign."