Monday, September 04, 2006

Kerala PWD Minister PJ Joseph puts in papers

Kerala PWD Minister P J Joseph, who was charged with cupping a co-passenger’s breast while travelling in a Kingfisher Airlines plane from Chennai to Kochi on August 3, put in his papers on Monday.

Joseph, accompanied by his wife, Santha, called on Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan at the latter’s house and submitted the resignation letter on Monday evening.

Later, he said the charges levelled against him were baseless. He wanted a detailed inquiry to be ordered into the affair to ‘ferret out the truth’.

Being in public life, he did not want even a needle of suspicion on him, he said, adding that he was confident of emerging innocent in the final report.

Although there were initial reports that he would resign from the MLA post, too, the party executive committee, which met earlier in the day, decided against that.

Achuthanandan will now decide as to who will hold the PWD portfolio.

However, there is no immediate chance of anybody from Joseph’s party, which has four MLAs, joining the ministry.

The resignation follows the report submitted by investigative officer I G Sandhya on Saturday, which said the charges against the minister were not baseless. Sandhya had received a written complaint from the victim, a former newsreader of a leading Malayalam channel.


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