(MENAFN - NewsBytes)
BJP's Nirmal Singh resigns as J&K deputy chief minister
30 Apr 2018
Ahead of a much-awaited cabinet reshuffle, BJP's Nirmal Singh has resigned from his post of Deputy Chief Minister in Jammu & Kashmir's Mehbooba Mufti-government to give way to a new BJP face for the post.
On April 17, BJP had asked all of its nine ministers in the PDP-BJP government to resign so that new faces could be brought in.
Nirmal Singh resigned after reportedly meeting Amit Shah
"I have resigned as the Deputy Chief Minister of the government. A fresh face from the BJP will be taking over," said Singh. His decision to resign reportedly came after a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah in New Delhi.
The reshuffle comes amid mounting pressure for the BJP
State assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta is slated to be the new deputy CM, according to BJP leaders.
Ever since two of its ministers - Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga - took part in a rally in support of the accused in the Kathua rape case, the BJP has been under pressure in J&K.
The two ministers had subsequently resigned.
Number of ministers permissible in J&K
Jammu & Kashmir can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the Chief Minister. In the coalition formed, Mufti's People's Democratic Party (PDP) holds 14 portfolios while the rest are with the BJP.
What we know about the cabinet reshuffle
As part of the cabinet reshuffle, J&K BJP chief Sat Sharma, and MLAs from Kathua and Sambha - Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal - are among those who will be inducted into the state government as cabinet ministers.
The BJP will also promote state transport minister Sunil Sharma to the rank of a cabinet minister.
Mufti's PDP will also promote two of its MLAs.