Days after its two lawmakers had to quit, BJP ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti government have sent their resignations to the party to prep for a reshuffle that has been on the cards for some time.
- BJP planning reshuffle that has been on the cards for some time
- Mehbooba Mufti's PDP has been in power in J&K with support from the BJP
- "There is no threat to the coalition government," a source told NDTV
Sources said the ministers had been told to send across their resignations at meetings held last week by BJP strategist Ram Madhav when he was in Jammu to meet lawmakers after the party's two ministers had to exit the Mehbooba Mufti government.
"There is no threat to the coalition government," a source told NDTV.
Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party, or PDP, has been in power in the state with support from the BJP, which has 25 legislators in the 89-seat Jammu and Kashmir assembly. The PDP, the largest group, has 28 legislators.
The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers including the chief minister. Of them, 14 portfolios are with the PDP and the remaining with the BJP.
Forest Minister Lal Singh and Industries Minister Chandra Prakash Ganga had quit last week after a huge political row over their speeches at a rally organised by a pro-Hindu group Hindu Ekta Manch on March 1. In these, both of them were perceived to be supporting the men accused of raping and murdering an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
The outrage that followed led the BJP to go along with the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who wanted the two ministers to leave her cabinet. But it has led to some heartburn among BJP lawmakers.
Lal Singh, who led a rally in support of a CBI probe into the rape of the eight-year-old girl, said he would continue to seek the probe by a central agency.
"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.