A figure in the ruling National Front government of Prime Minister V.P. Singh bowed to internal pressure and resigned as chief minister of the Haryana state government, easing the worst political crisis during Singh's seven months in power.
Janata Dal Party President S.R. Bommai announced that Om Prakash Chautala had quickly accepted the organization's appeal Monday and resigned. Chautala is the son of Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.His resignation further defused the government crisis and appeared to be a political victory for Singh, who was engaged in a power struggle with his deputy over whether Chautala would be allowed to continue in office.
It was the second time in two months that Chautala had been forced to give up the Haryana chief ministry. He was forced to resign the office May 22 when a controversy erupted over the assassination of a state political candidate.
Chautala, who succeeded his father in the chief ministry, had earlier been accused of trying to rig a by-election in the state in a desperate bid to retain the family's political power base.
Lal, a Janata Dal power broker whose family controls the Haryana state assembly, was widely believed to have engineered the re-election of his son, and opponents criticized Singh for not opposing the political maneuvering.
The election Thursday prompted three Cabinet ministers in the central government to offer their resignations in protest, claiming the prime minister had violated his campaign pledge to restore honesty in government.
Reacting to the protests, Singh offered Saturday to resign, triggering the worst crisis of the 7-month-old coalition government. But pressure from supporters in his party and the coalition prompted him to agree to withdraw the resignation Sunday.