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Indian Minister Natwar Singh Resigns Because of Scandal


India's former foreign minister, Natwar Singh, accused of skimming money from the Iraqi oil-for-food program has resigned from the cabinet, saying he does not want to give the opposition an excuse to stall parliament.

Natwar Singh's decision came after a week-long blocking of parliamentary proceedings by the opposition, demanding that he step down.

Mr. Singh, a minister without portfolio, announced his resignation Tuesday, a day after he met party chief Sonia Gandhi and spoke by telephone to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is in Moscow. He said he is resigning even though he is innocent. Natwar Singh was dropped as foreign minister last month over allegations he and the Congress party profited from the United Nations program aimed at helping Iraqi civilians cope with the impact of international sanctions against the regime of Saddam Hussein.

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