Two BJP ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga who took part in a rally in support of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, had to resign from the government earlier this month.
In a move to set aside the black memoirs of BJP leaders face in kashmir its high command had on April 17 asked all its nine ministers in the coalition government to submit their resignations to bring in new faces in the two-year-old Mufti cabinet. The party, however, had not forwarded the resignations to the governor.
Subsequently Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh resigned from the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, paving way for a new BJP face for the post in a cabinet reshuffle.
“I have resigned as the deputy chief minister of the government,” Singh said. His decision came after he reportedly met BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi.
State assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta will be the new deputy CM, a BJP leader said, according to news agency PTI.
BJP’s state unit chief, Sat Sharma, and the MLAs from Kathua and adjoining Sambha Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal are among the BJP leaders who will be inducted into the state government as cabinet ministers on Monday, officials told PTI.
The BJP will elevate Sunil Sharma, at present the minister of state for transport, to the rank of a cabinet minister, the officials said, adding the ruling Peoples Democratic Party will have Pulwama MLA Mohd Khalil Band and Sonwar MLA Mohd Ashraf Mir as cabinet ministers.
Shakti Raj, the BJP MLA from Doda, will be sworn in as a minister of state at the oath-taking ceremony, which will be attended by senior BJP leaders, including national general secretary Ram Madhav and minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh, PTI reported.
Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra will administer the oath of office and secrecy to those being inducted into the council of ministers on Monday noon, an invitation for the ceremony read.
The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the chief minister, out of which 14 portfolios are with the PDP and the remaining with the BJP.