Singh, Ganga submit resignations to State BJP prez
Srinagar, Apr 13: Two BJP ministers, who were at the centre of a storm over their participation in a rally in support of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, today submitted their resignations to the party’s state president Sat Sharma.
“Yes, the two ministers have submitted their resignation to me,” Sharma confirmed to PTI.
He said a legislature party meeting of the BJP is scheduled to be held tomorrow in Jammu where the future course of action on this issue will be discussed.
“We are going to discuss this and other issues at our legislature party meeting tomorrow,” Sharma said when asked if he was going to forward the resignations to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Forest Minister Chaudhary Lal Singh and Industries Minister Chander Prakash had attended the rally.
Opposition National Conference and the Congress had demanded that Mehbooba sack the two ministers.
Earlier, facing flak over the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, the BJP today claimed that its rivals were “selectively” picking the two instances to target it and asserted that stringent action was being taken in both the cases.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi defended the two Jammu and Kashmir ministers of the party – Chowdery Lal Singh and Chandra Prakash Ganga — who had joined a march against the police probe into the ghastly rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, saying they were “misled and misguided”.
The party did not share their views and they should have maintained that the law was taking its course, Lekhi told a press conference here.
To a question on whether the party would take action against Singh and Ganga, , the New Delhi MP said it was not a “crime” to be misled.
“The lesson for them is allow the law to take its own course before opening your mouth,” Lekhi said.
The opposition parties are putting pressure on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to sack the two ministers.
The police had carried out a “very fair investigation” and arrested eight accused in the case, Lekhi said, while suggesting that the Congress might have had a role in the public protests against the probe.
Bar Association of Jammu president B S Slathia, who was spearheading the protests in Kathua, was Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s polling agent in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, she claimed.
The Bar Association of Jammu was also putting pressure on the woman lawyer representing the prosecution not to take up the case against the accused and it showed what kind of “hateful politics” was being practised, Lekhi said.
PDP meeting today
Jammu, Apr 13: The ruling PDP leadership will meet Saturday in Srinagar to discuss the situation emerging following the brutal gangrape and killing of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, a party spokesman said today.
According to PDP sources, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who will chair the meeting, is likely to tell the BJP, a coalition partner in the ruling coalition in the state, to ask its ministers – Chowdery Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga – to resign.
The two ministers had attended a meeting in the girl’s village in support of the accused in the case and demanded a CBI probe in the matter last month.
“A meeting of senior party leaders is being held tomorrow and important issues relating to political, party and administration in J&K will be discussed,” PDP chief spokesman Rafi Ahmed Mir said.
The leaders may also discuss the emerging situation in Jammu, he said.
Asked whether Mehbooba Mufti has given an ultimatum to the BJP to sack the two ministers, Mir said it is matter to be discussed between the alliance partners “and after that we will see”.
“The most important point is whether Mehbooba Mufti has become weak due to their (BJP ministers) visit to that place. She has not become weak but completed investigation into the case,” he emphasised.
Replying to another question on the remarks of Tourism Minister and Mehbooba Mufti’s brother, Tassaduq Mufti, the PDP leader said “he said the truth”.
“We are very concerned and perturbed about (the situation in Jammu)”, Mir said, adding, “He (Tassaduq) said the right thing and there is nothing new in it.”
Yesterday, Tassaduq Mufti said the Peoples Democratic Party has become a “partner in crime with the BJP and the gradual schism of state’s residents may lead to unprecedented bloodshed.”
He said he cannot remain quiet just because he is in the government and that the PDP will have to “take one last bow and apologise to people for having unknowingly pushed them into something they did not deserve.” (With PTI inputs)