Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir PWD Minister G M
Saroori was sacked today after he failed to resign as desired
by Congress in the wake of a row over alleged use of an
impersonator for his daughter during a medical entrance test.
An official spokesman said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
recommended to Governor N N Vohra the dismissal of Saroori
from his Council of Ministers.
Vohra, who is in cloudburst-hit Leh, was sent the
communication and he has approved it, the spokesman said. The
Chief Minister had earlier in the day informed the cabinet
about his decision to sack Saroori.
Saroori, a minister belonging to Congress, had been asked
to put in his papers after the controversy erupted but he
chose to ignore the directive and left for Jeddah to perform
`umrah` sans any clearance from the External Affairs Ministry.
The minister, who has been maintaining that he was a
victim of politics in the state, chose to ignore the directive
of the party high command and did not submit his resignation
before leaving for umrah.
He flew out yesterday morning and his office in Jammu
circulated a statement that he had not been asked by the party
high command to resign on the issue of impersonation allegedly
involving his daughter.
Saroori had not taken the mandatory "political clearance"
from the MEA as is necessary for any minister to travel
abroad, official sources said.
It was alleged that two youths, including a girl, were
appearing in the medical examination for the kin of two
politicians -- Saroori and former minister Ram Pal of the
National Conference, Congress` coalition partner in Jammu and
Seven alleged impersonators, including a girl, were
apprehended in this connection on August 21.
The state government had already decided to hand over
the probe in the case to the CBI.
Vehemently denying any wrongdoing by his daughter,
Saroori has dubbed it a "misinformation campaign" by vested
interests to tarnish his image.