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Manu Sharma's father quits Haryana ministry

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Last updated on: October 06, 2006 13:12 IST

Haryana Power Minister Venod Sharma, in the eye of a storm following recent revelations in the Jessica Lal murder case in which his son Manu Sharma is the main accused, has resigned.

Sharma has submitted his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi informing her that he does not wish to remain a minister till the case against his son is not decided, according to All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, incharge of party affairs in Haryana.

Sharma's resignation came in the backdrop of growing demands from the opposition Indian National Lok DalĀ and other organisations for his dismissal in the wake of recent sting operation carried out by Tehelka, which claimed that witnesses in the Jessica murder case were bribed to change their statements.

Sources said Sharma decided to resign so that the image of the party was not damaged due to the controversy.

Tehelka had carried out a three-month sting operation against three key witnesses -- Shayan Munshi, Karan Rajput, and Shiv Das -- who had turned hostile in the ramp model murder case leading to the acquittal of Manu Sharma.

The operation had sought to reveal how money and muscle power was allegedly used to coerce the three witnesses into changing their stand in court despite having given statements to the police accusing Manu of the crime.

The ramp model was murdered at a restaurant in New Delhi on the night of April 29, 1999.

Sharma, who was then the president of the Chandigarh Congress Committee, had resigned shortly after the registration of the case against his son and was virtually in political wilderness till the Haryana elections last year.

The AICC had so far sought to steer clear of the controversy contending that the matter was sub judice and the law of the land will take its own course.

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