Chandigarh: Punjab minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur today resigned from the government "on moral grounds" following recent reports of alleged involvement of a family member in drug trade.
Phillaur, a Cabinet minister holding the portfolios of Jails, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, quit following "some adverse though false and misleading reports in a section of the press against a member of his family", an official release said here.
The minister submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in New Delhi. Badal was in the national capital on his way to Ahmedabad to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Gujarat Chief Minister.
An official spokesman said tonight that the resignation of Phillaur had been sent to Governor Shivraj Patil for acceptance with immediate effect.
In his resignation letter, Phillaur said, "Although the media reports in question have no basis in truth and are totally false and grossly misleading, yet I am resigning from the Council of Ministers on moral grounds to uphold the highest traditions of our party, the Shiromani Akali Dal."
He said that he had taken the decision to maintain complete transparency and accountability, and also "to keep up my own impeccable record of personal and professional honesty and integrity in my long political career" spanning four decades.