BJP ministers in J&K asked to resign; reshuffle on cards

Lal Singh Kathua Kathua rape and murder case

Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga had resigned last week on the issue of having participated in a rally in which they demanded CBI enquiry into the rape-murder case in Kathua district. Reports say this is not a move by the BJP to pull out of the coalition government in the state with the PDP, but merely a reshuffle.

In Kathua, an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community disappeared near her house on January 10.

With these resignations, the number of ministers in the state government had come down to 22, including nine from the BJP. Meanwhile, news agency PTI said that as per top state government sources, the reshuffle will most probably take place on April 20.

The BJP high command has been receiving complaints that the party ministers in J&K were non-functional and allegations of corruption were made against some of them.

The incumbent PDP ministers include Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Abdul Rehman Veeri, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Abdul Haq Khan, Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, Naeem Akhtar, Imran Raza Ansari, Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, Asiea Naqash and Zahoor Ahmad Mir.

"If two ministers can sacrifice their posts in the interest of peace, those who are actually responsible for creating such an atmosphere should listen to their conscience", he said, a swipe aimed at the chief minister.

However, Singh appeared to be changing his narrative today, saying he wanted a CBI probe so that justice could be ensured for the victim. The former forest minister said Mufti has failed to gauge the popular sentiment. BJP does not want to create Hindu vs Muslim situation in Jammu and Kashmir. According to sources, the party will submit a report on the alleged roles of Ganga and Lal Singh to party president Amit Shah within 15 days. He added: "We resigned because the perception created by the national media was not good".

"It was portrayed that the entire Jammu region was siding with rapists", he said. "We have not done anything wrong", Singh said.

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