Madhav says cabinet reshuffle has nothing to do with Kathua case

Nirmal Singh out, ‘Proud RSS man’ made Deputy CM of JK

The speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Kavinder Gupta was on Monday sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Seven others too were sworn in a ministers in the Mehbooba led coalition government.

Gupta will be the new deputy chief minister in place of Nirmal Singh, who submitted his resignation last night, officials said.

The new BJP faces sworn in as ministers were the party’s state unit chief Satpal Sharma and the MLAs from Kathua and adjoining Sambha, Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal, respectively. The BJP also upgraded Sunil Sharma, at present minister of state for transport, to the rank of a cabinet minister. BJP MLA from Doda Shakti Raj took oath as a minister of state.

The PDP members included in the cabinet were Mohd Khalil Band, MLA from Pulwama, and Mohd Ashraf Mir, MLA from Sonwar.

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh attended the event.

Amid reports, that Nirmal Singh was replaced after he supported Mehbooba Mufti the Kathua rape and murder case, Ram Madhav said that the reshuffle has nothing to do with the Kathua incident.

“The cabinet reshuffle has nothing to do with the Kathua incident. Our government has completed three years and we decided to give a chance to new faces. 5 members of the party will be sworn-in as ministers today,” wrote Madhav.

Nirmal Singh had backed CM Mufti’s decision to stick to a probe by the Crime Branch in the Kathua case, though many BJP leaders had backed the demand for a CBI inquiry. He is known to share a good equation with Mufti, and often acted as a bridge in the fraught relationship between the BJP and its ruling partner PDP.

Gupta, who replaces Singh, is a first-time MLA but an old BJP and RSS hand. He has served as Jammu mayor for three terms, between 2005 and 2010.

After taking over as the speaker of the Assembly, Gupta had said that he is a ‘proud RSS man.’ 

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