India

Delhi minister Jitender Singh Tomar resigns after arrest

Jitender Singh Tomar file photo Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Tomar says that claims against him are "baseless"

A minister in the local government in India's capital Delhi has resigned after being arrested amid allegations that his law degree was fake.

Law Minister Jitender Singh Tomar, who is from the Aam Admi Party (AAP), is accused of forgery and cheating.

Mr Tomar has dismissed the claims as "baseless". On Tuesday, he was remanded in custody for four days.

The AAP, which was elected in Delhi on a pledge to fight corruption, says the arrest is politically-motivated.

Mr Tomar, who held a number of portfolios in the Delhi government including justice, sent his resignation letter late on Tuesday night, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

"Mr Tomar put in his papers a while back. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has accepted the resignation," the agency quoted Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia as saying.

"We shall forward it to Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung on Wednesday morning," he added.

In his resignation letter, Mr Tomar said he did not want the image of the party or the government to be tarnished, PTI reported.

The AAP won a landslide 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi's assembly in February's election. It was seen as a major blow to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationally governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party.

Mr Tomar had submitted documents showing that he held a law degree when he ran for office.

The Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University in Bihar state has previously said that it has no record of the law minister receiving his degree.

Mr Tomar responded that the university had not denied that he was a student and that "there are so many students they could have forgotten".

His arrest has exposed a power struggle between the Delhi government, led by the AAP, and the BJP.

The federal government controls the Delhi police and AAP leaders have accused it of a political vendetta in arresting Mr Tomar - a charge denied by the BJP.

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