Out goes Mr Nice Guy

In a major setback to the BJP government, its ‘honest face’ — law minister S. Suresh Kumar — on Saturday, quit on moral grounds following allegations that he suppressed facts to obtain a site under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota from Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA).

Mr Suresh Kumar, the 12th minister to step down since the BJP was voted to power in 2008, announced his resignation after RTI activist, S. Bhaskaran, ferreted out details of his property and pointed out that the minister had not provided requisite information to BDA.

“I took this decision to spare the party and the government from embarrassment. I will be returning the site,” he told the media after handing over his resignation to Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.

The Chief Minister, however, told Mr Suresh Kumar that he would not accept Mr Kumar’s resignation in haste. The party is trying to convince him to withdraw his resignation. The visibly shaken chief minister had rushed to Mr Kumar’s residence and insisted that his chief aide had not violated any rule.

By afternoon, the entire cabinet had asked the minister to withdraw his resignation. Several BJP leaders and scores of supporters were at the minister’s residence and persuaded him not to press his resignation.

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