Tiwari resigns as Andhra Pradesh governor after sex tape sting
Veteran Congress politician Narain Dutt Tiwari's alleged sexual indiscretions finally caught up with him today when he had to resign as governor of Andhra Pradesh following an expos by a local ABN television channel.
Tiwari resigned as governor in the wake of a raging controversy after a sting operation purportedly showed him in a 'compromising position' with three women.
Tiwari, 86, a former chief minister of undivided Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, sent his resignation to president Pratibha Patil on health grounds, a press communique from the Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad said.
The resignation came a day after ABN Andhra Jyothi, a Telugu television channel, aired footage, which was captured in a sting operation, of an old man with three naked women in a compromising position in the Raj Bhavan. The channel said the old man in the footage, who was naked waist down, was Tiwari.
The Raj Bhavan denied the claim and promptly approached the Andhra Pradesh high court yesterday and got an order restraining the channel from telecasting the footage.
The sting operation evoked a string of demands from political parties like the Telugu Desam Party, the Communist Party of India, the CPI (Marxist), and the Bharatiya Janata Party, that the veteran Congress politician be sacked.
Women's groups also staged demonstrations outside the Raj Bhavan deploring the governor's unseemly and immoral behavior and demanding that he step down immediately.
The Congress welcomed the resignation saying Tiwari has taken the appropriate decision. Party sources said the governor of some neighboring state would be given additional charge of Andhra Pradesh for the time being.
Indications that Tiwari would not be able to continue in the post emerged when the Centre sought a report from the state chief secretary on the issue today. A highly placed Congress sources said Tiwari would have to go in view of the acute embarrassment he had caused the party and its government at the Centre.
"I think he has taken an appropriate decision keeping in view the high standards of public life. We welcome it," Janardan Dwivedi, head of the All-India Congress Committee's media department, told reporters in Delhi.
Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed had earlier said that the high court was looking into the matter. "Since the matter is sub judice, no one should comment upon it," he had said.
The Telugu channel's editor-in-chief, Vemuri Radhakrishna, said the channel has evidence to back what it had shown. "Let them serve a defamation notice," he said. "We are ready to deal with the issue."
This is not the first time that Tiwari, a former Union minister for finance and external affairs, has figured in controversies involving women. In Uttar Pradesh, he was long rumoured to have an insatiable sexual appetite. Sometime ago, a lawyer, Rohit Shekhar, had filed a paternity suit in the Delhi high court against Tiwari, claiming that he was born out of intimate relationship between the Congress politician and his mother Ujwala Sharma. The charge was denied by Tiwari who, however, refused to undergo a paternity test.
The Delhi high court rejected Shekhar's petition on the grounds that it was time-barred as he had filed it a long time after attaining majority.
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