#Kathua: BJP accepts resignation of its two J&K ministers

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"Taking into consideration the situation and the general perception, the two ministers in consultation with party leaders chose to resign from their posts, " said BJP's national general secretary Ram Madhav after chairing a meeting of the party leaders in Jammu.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asked two of its ministers to resign because of the bad press they received, not for anything they did against the party line. BJP sources said that Ram Madhav advised the party ministers to assert during the Cabinet meetings and block controversial decisions then and there instead of raking them up in public, leading to embarrassment for both the coalition partners. BJP leader Chandra Prakash Ganga, who had resigned yesterday, told Mirror that he is satisfied with the investigation conducted by the Crime Branch in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.

Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti, who also holds the Home portfolio, terminated the services of a sub-inspector, a head constable and two Special Police Officers (SPOs) accused of the crime.

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Madhav had said, "There is no question of any pressure".

"They took the resignation of two ministers because as per media, their role was not positive, " said PDP leader and Works Minister Nayeem Akhtar.

Fully aware of the arduous task ahead, especially when sons of political heavyweights are most likely to contest the elections on Congress and BJP tickets respectively, Raghu says, "An estimated 10% to 15% of voters want new faces and this is enough to keep me confident of my chances". The ministers, however, clarified on Saturday that they were sent for the protest march by party state president Sat Sharma.

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Scenes last week of lawyers trying to stop police from entering court to file charges against the accused sparked nationwide revulsion. A week later, her body was found in woods near her village.

The BJP on Sunday demanded that the main opposition Congress party sack its state leader in Jammu and Kashmir after he suggested the police investigation was politically motivated.

The residence of a Supreme Court judge who is monitoring the corruption cases against ousted premier Nawaz Sharif came under firing by unknown gunmen today, triggering widespread condemnation in Pakistan.

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