India governor, 86, resigns after 3-woman sex tape

AP News
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Posted: Dec 26, 2009 9:11 AM

The 86-year-old governor of a southern Indian state resigned Saturday, a day after a television news channel broadcast a tape allegedly showing him in bed with three women, an official said.

Gov. Narain Dutt Tiwari's office has denied the allegation, denouncing the tape as fabricated.

Tiwari, a veteran governing Congress party leader in Andhra Pradesh state, sent his resignation letter to the Indian president on Saturday, citing health reasons, a state official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The scandal hit as Andhra Pradesh is engulfed in social unrest. Outrage over a delay in creating a new state there erupted into violent demonstrations in several cities earlier this week.

Pressure mounted on Tiwari to quit after the tape allegedly showing him in bed with three women was broadcast Friday, prompting the opposition and women's right groups to hold street protests in Hyderabad, the state capital, demanding his resignation.

A statement issued on Friday by Aryendra Sharma, an aide to the governor, said "the news channel report is fabricated, false and malicious to tarnish the image of the governor."

The television channel ABN Andhra Jyoti News, broadcast the tape, said it was made in a sting operation. The three women were from his northern home state of Uttrakhand, it claimed.

They were brought to Hyderabad by another woman who was allegedly promised a mining lease by the governor in return for sexual favors, the television channel claimed.

The woman said she decided to expose Tiwari through a sting operation after he did not keep his promise, the channel said.

A court stopped the channel from broadcasting the tape again later Friday after a petition filed by Sharma, the governor's aide, who said the video was "likely to demean and denigrate his office."

Tiwari had earlier served as the top elected official of northern Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand states and as a federal minister.