Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti will not resign from her post in the Union Cabinet. His comments came hours after the Supreme Court observed that Bharti and other senior BJP leaders, including L K Advani and M M Joshi, will be tried for criminal conspiracy in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case. “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,” Jaitley is quoted as saying by news agency PTI. When asked whether the leaders should resign after the chargesheet is filed, he added, “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).”
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The apex court on Wednesday ruled that 14 people who were previously acquitted of charges under criminal conspiracy will be tried in a Lucknow court. This includes Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Ritambara, Satish Pradhan, Champat Rai Bansal, apart from previously mentioned BJP leaders. Kalyan Singh, who was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister at the time of the demolition, will also be tried after his tenure as the Rajasthan Governor ends as he currently enjoys constitutional immunity. Jaitley was also questioned about the resignation of Kalyan Singh. The SC has also ordered the CBI to ensure that witnesses are produced in court everyday so that there is no delay in the Babri demolition case trial. The trial will have to be completed in two years.
Separately, when asked whether the verdict will impact the selection of candidates for the posts of President and Vice President, Jaitley dismissed it as ‘hypothetical’, reported PTI. Advani and Joshi are rumoured to be in the running for the two top constitutional posts after President Pranab Mukherjee’s tenure ends on July 24 and Vice President Hamid Ansari’s on August 10.
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