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Shinde rules out action against Bhujbal

December 20, 2003 19:24 IST

Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Saturday ruled out any action against Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal till the allegations against him are established.

Bhujbal has been under intense attack from the opposition in connection with the multicrore stamp paper scam.

"How can I act as long as the allegations are not established? I do not know whether they are true or not," Shinde told reporters when asked whether he would ask Bhujbal to step down.

Shinde also mentioned that he was running a coalition government, adding that in many states and even at the Centre allegations are levelled against ministers but 'no action has been taken'.

Citing the case of Defence Minister George Fernandes against whom the opposition has levelled charges, Shinde said, "His (Fernandes') is an unique case. No action has been initiated against him so far."

Defending his having lunch with Shiv Sena-BJP opposition leaders during the just-concluded winter session of the state legislature, Shinde said, "We need to inculcate such practice for a healthy democracy."

Denying reports that Congressmen were unhappy with his stance, the chief minister said his endeavour paid dividends with the opposition accepting most of his suggestions and not disrupting the proceedings of the house.

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