Mehbooba thanks Modi, Ram Madhav says there was indiscretion, not guilt, on part of ministers
Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday accepted the resignations of cabinet ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, who had participated in a rally in Kathua organised by the Hindu Ekta Manch to support the men arrested for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim Gujjar girl.
The resignations of Singh and Ganga were received from BJP state chief Sat Sharma this morning. They were immediately accepted and forwarded to Governor NN Vohra for completing the procedural formalities.
With these resignations, the number of ministers in the state government has come down to 22, including nine from the BJP.
There are three vacancies in the council of ministers as the PDP had last month removed its finance minister Haseeb Drabu unceremoniously.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who had held consultations with legislators of the party in Jammu on Saturday, had announced that the resignations would be forwarded for further action.
Both the ministers had maintained yesterday that they had been sent by the party to Kathua to understand the ground situation. The two ministers were present in the rally in support of the rape-accused where the tricolour was also waved.
Madhav had yesterday said, “That is why they had to resign. During my visit last month here, I made it clear to everyone that in this matter no one speaks and let us allow the investigations to complete.
“Certain amount of discretion should have been maintained. Certainly, there was a lack of discretion. Sometimes a lack of discretion does not tantamount of any guilt…that has led to certain misconceptions about them (two ministers) also, so they decided they will quit as ministers,” he had responded, when asked about the two ministers having termed the action of the crime branch as “jungle raj” and warned police from arresting anyone.
A much-relieved Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for defusing the situation and said the unfortunate incident had brought the people of the state and the rest of the country “together”.
She said a sense of justice had been reinforced in the state and urged “New Delhi to wake up to the Kashmir cauldron”.
Both the alliance partners — the BJP and the PDP — had separate legislature party meetings in Srinagar and Jammu yesterday to discuss the situation arising out of the polarisation in the state over the rape-cum-murder of the girl.