BJP demands Baalu’s sack from union cabinet


New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday demanded immediate dismissal of Shipping Minister T.R. Baalu from the union cabinet for his “adverse comments on the judiciary” when he allegedly criticised the Supreme Court’s ruling on the DMK’s protest plans in Tamil Nadu.

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“A union cabinet minister raising inappropriate questions against the observations of the honourable Supreme Court and challenging the authority of the courts is a dangerous precedent marking a direct confrontation between the executive and judiciary,” BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters at the party headquarters.

Baalu’s party, Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK, called for a state-wide strike Monday to press for progress of the controversial Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, but the apex court, acting on an AIADMK petition, stayed the shutdown call.

Tami Nadu Chief Minister and DMK head M. Karunanidhi with his supporters, including Baalu, went on a fast in Chennai Monday morning, only to face the wrath of the apex court again.

Referring to the situation in Tamil Nadu, Rajnath Singh said, “The disobedience of the Supreme Court by the Tamil Nadu government and today’s criticism of judiciary by a Union Minister is a matter of grave concern for the entire country.

“After his adverse comments on the judiciary, Baalu ceases to have the constitutional right of remaining as minister of the union cabinet.”

The BJP president said, “I urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to immediately dismiss Baalu from the union cabinet in order to fulfil the constitutional obligation of the government.

“If the government is not ready to do so, then as per the constitutional principle of collective responsibility, the entire government is responsible. This will be a serious threat to the constitutional and federal structure of the country.”