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Clean chit for UP minister on toon controversy

UP minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, who had announced a cash reward for the head of a Danish cartoonist for caricaturing Prophet Mohammad, got a clean chit from state assembly.

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LUCKNOW: Giving a clean chit to controversial Uttar Pradesh minister Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, who had announced a cash reward for the head of a Danish cartoonist for caricaturing Prophet Mohammad, state Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey on Monday said the minister's act does not amount to breach of privilege and was an individual assertion.

Giving his ruling on a privilege notice given by a BJP legislator Suresh Khanna, Pandey said Qureshi had made the announcement at a meeting and the government had nothing to do with it.

"Qureshi's opinion does not reflect the government's viewpoint and there is no violation of the principles of collective responsibility of the cabinet," he said.

Pandey, however, observed that Qureshi should not have made such an announcement.

Khanna had charged Qureshi with violating the Constitution and the principles of collective responsibility and breach of privilege.

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