Chandigarh: The resignation of veteran Akali leader Tota Singh, who was convicted by a court at Mohali for misusing his official position and vehicle, was on Wednesday accepted by Governor Shivraj V Patil.

Singh is the second minister of the Parkash Singh Badal led SAD-BJP government to resign following conviction by a court. Earlier, in March senior minister Bibi Jagir Kaur had resigned after her conviction by a Patiala court in connection with the mysterious death of her daughter.

He was convicted by a Mohali court last week in a case related to the misuse of official vehicle of Punjab School Education Board while he was Education Minister from 1997 to 2002.

An official spokesperson said that the minister had tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, which was subsequently forwarded to the Governor for his immediate acceptance.

Meanwhile, the portfolio of Agriculture held by Tota Singh would now be looked after by the Chief Minister till further orders, the spokesperson added.

Badal at a function at Mohali on Tuesday had stated that Tota Singh had submitted his resignation "to set an example of morality."

"Yes Tota Singh has sent his resignation to me...He should not have resigned...But he did it to set an example of morality," the Chief Minister told reporters at Mohali at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Punjab Olympic Bhawan on Tuesday.

Singh, who was charged with misusing the official car of the Punjab School Education Board, however, got some reprieve from the court when he was granted bail to enable him to approach a higher court to challenge the conviction.

The Minister, in his late seventies, however, got relief in another case when Additional District and Sessions judge Rajinder Aggarwal acquitted him of owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Besides registering a case against Singh for allegedly misusing his official position, Punjab Vigilance Bureau had also booked him for possessing property worth Rs ten Crore, which was stated to be disproportionate to his known sources of income during the SAD-BJP regime from 1997-2002.

The cases were registered in 2002 when the Amarinder Singh led Congress government came to power routing the SAD-BJP alliance in the assembly polls in February 2002.


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