BJP HC summons top leaders on April 23 to finalize rejig

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Apr 18: The BJP national high command has summoned party’s senior Ministers and office bearers in New Delhi on April 23 for discussions on reshuffle in the Council of Ministry in Jammu and Kashmir. Names for exclusion and inclusion in the Council of Ministry will be finalized in the meeting after which the Ministry will be revamped.
Meanwhile, except Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, who hadn’t resigned yesterday along with other BJP Ministers, was the lone to attend his office in the Civil Secretariat today while all other party Ministers including Cabinet as well as Ministers of State stayed away from their offices.
BJP insiders told the Excelsior that BJP high command including party president Amit Shah, Ram Madhav, general secretary, Incharge Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh and Avinash Rai Khanna will meet Jammu and Kashmir unit leaders including Ministers and top office bearers in the Union capital on Monday to discuss and finalize names of the party leaders, who would be included in the Cabinet and those who would be dropped.
BJP has presently been left with eight Ministers-five in Cabinet rank and three Ministers of State. Apart from them, BJP State unit chief Sat Sharma, organizing secretary, Ashok Koul and some other senior functionaries would also be present in the meeting.
Sources said the BJP high command and State unit leaders would discuss and finalize names for exclusion from the Council of Ministry and inclusion. Thereafter, the list would be cleared by Amit Shah.
“Resignations of the BJP Ministers, who have to be dropped from the Council of Ministry, would be forwarded to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for acceptance and submission to Governor NN Vohra while rest of the resignations will be rejected. Barring Dr Nirmal Singh, all BJP Ministers had submitted their resignations to party president, Sat Sharma yesterday to facilitate reshuffle in the Ministry.
The reshuffle in the Council of Ministry would be carried out within a day or two of the finalization of names by the BJP high command for induction and dropping from the Council of Ministry. If everything goes well, the reshuffle would be carried out before the move of Civil Secretary, seat of the Government, to Srinagar for six months of summer. The Move offices are scheduled to close here on May 27.
While BJP already has two vacancies in the Cabinet after resignations of Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga in the wake of controversy shrouding their support to the people of Rassana, the BJP is in mood to drop two to three more Ministers and induct four to five new faces in the Ministry by giving representation to some of the uncovered districts.
The BJP will utilize its entire strength of 11 in the Council of Ministry while the PDP is likely to keep one of its vacancies, caused by the resignation of former Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu, as unfilled. PDP can have 14 Ministers but its present strength is 13. However, there is possibility that the PDP might also carry out reshuffle in portfolios of its Ministers. The BJP is also likely to change portfolios of the Ministers.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP veteran, Dr Nirmal Singh was the lone BJP Minister to attend the office today as he hadn’t resigned yesterday along with other Ministers.
Sources clarified that Dr Singh being the BJP Legislature Party leader as well as the Deputy Chief Minister, wasn’t asked to resign. Resignations were taken from all other BJP Ministers and submitted to State BJP chief Sat Sharma. Sharma would forward resignations of those Ministers, who would be dropped from the Ministry, to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for acceptance and submission to Governor NN Vohra.
Barring, Dr Nirmal Singh, all other BJP Ministers didn’t attend their offices today, sources said.