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Helena Guergis, Indian-origin ex-MP Rahim Jaffer's wife out of Canadian government

Ottawa, April 10 (IANS) Indian-origin ex-MP Rahim Jaffer, who became an embarrassment for the Canadian prime minister because of alleged shady deals, saw his minister wife being sacked from the cabinet Friday.

Helena Guergis, who is in charge of women affairs, was in the thick of controversies which included her tantrums at an airport and her female aide writing letters to local papers lauding her without revealing that she worked for the minister.

Prime minister Stephen Harper not only threw her out but also ordered police investigations into charges against her.

The prime minister was forced to act after the Toronto Star carried an expose Thursday, showing the minister's Indian-origin husband boasting his influence with the PMO to get business deals done. Throwing her out, the prime minister said, "I am very disappointed, it is a very sad day...'' Interestingly, the minister had offered to resign, but the prime minister acted to remove her.

But her part, the minister said, "This morning, I tendered my resignation as Minister of State for Status of Women to the Prime Minister which he accepted.''

The prime minister didn't say much about allegations against the minister's husband Jaffer whose antics exposed by the Toronto Star Thursday forced him to throw her out.

"Mr. Jaffer is a private citizen and he is responsible for himself and I have no comment to add to that matter.Obviously, I read the newspapers yesterday. The suggestions that were made that Mr. Jaffer has an open door to my office are completely false,'' the prime minister said. In the investigative report in the Toronto Star Thursday, Jaffer is exposed as promising a alleged conman Nazim Gillani to get business deals done because of his sway with the prime minister.

"Mr. Jaffer has opened up the Prime Ministers' office to us and as a result of that dinner - he today advised me that he is just as excited as we are and joining our team seems to be the next logical step,'' the conmansaid in an email to his business associates after throwing a dinner party for Jaffer in September.

Jaffer, an Ismaili Muslim of Gujarati origin, became Canada's youngest non-white MP at the age of 25 in 1997. He served four terms till his loss in the 2008 parliamentary elections.

The 38-year-old former MP married to 41-year-old Helena Guergis in 2008.

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