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MP finance minister quits over sodomy charges
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BHOPAL, July 5 (Agencies): In a huge embarassment for Madhya Pradesh's BJP government in an election year, a senior minister was today forced to resign after his male servant filed a police complaint accusing him of sexual exploitation.

The servant, Rajkumar Dangi, who was with Finance Minister Raghavji, 79, for the last 3-4 years, also submitted an affidavit, along with his complaint, claiming he was in possession of a CD containing an obscene video that purportedly showed him in a compromising position with a woman.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, according to Raghavji, called him around 10.30 this morning and asked him to tender his resignation.

"I have resigned on the advice of the Chief Minister. Only he can tell you the details (of why my resignation was sought). We spoke for some time and he told me he was going to Raipur and will let me know of the reasons on his return," Raghavji, who had set a record of sorts by presenting 10 budgetsin a row from 2004 to 2013, told reporters.

"I don't know what allegations he (Rajkumar) has levelled against me but, if what you say is true, then the charges are false," he said, terming the police complaint against him by his servant as a "conspiracy" to malign him. The charges of sodomy are "fake", he said.

The Chief Minister is learnt to have forwarded Raghavji's resignation to Governor Ram Naresh Yadav for acceptance.

Meanwhile, Water Resources Minister Jayant Malaiyya has been given additional charge of the finance portfolio.

Police sources said Rajkumar Dangi went to the Habibganj Police Station here last night and filed the complaint in which he accused the minister of forcing him to engage in unnatural sex.

Along with the complaint, Rajkumar also submitted an affidavit in which he claimed he had a CD containing a obscene video clip purportedly showing the minister.

The police are looking for Rajkumar so that his detailed statement could be recorded and an FIR registered.

Raghavji's wife Heeraben came out in defence of her beleagured husband, terming the accusations as "false" and "part of a conspiracy".

"His position is such that people whose work doesn't get done begin to level false allegations. Sometimes false charges are also made in order to extort money," she told reporters.

The scandal-hit BJP leader's daughter Jyoti Shah also rubbished the allegations, calling them "strange".

According to the buzz in political circles, Raghavji was planning to retire from electoral politics and pass on the baton to his daughter who was likely to contest election from his traditional Vidisha seat.

Notwithstanding the protestations by an embattled Raghavji and his family, Opposition Congress mounted a scathing attack on him, terming the development as "most shameless" and demanding immediate registration of a case against the BJP leader.

"The Chief Minister should tell the people what prompted him to seek Raghavji's resignation. We have information that his servant has accused him of a shameless act. A case must be filed against him immediately and he should face the judicial process as a common man," MP Congress spokesman Mukesh Nayak said.

Meanwhile, several Congress workers carrying party flags demonstrated in front of the Habibganj police station, demanding registration of a case against Raghavji and his arrest.

News Updated at : Friday, July 5, 2013
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