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Naqvi, RCP Singh resign from Modi's Cabinet

Naqvi, RCP Singh resign from Modis Cabinet
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New Delhi: Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and RCP Singh resigned from the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, a day ahead of the end of their tenures.

Naqvi held the portfolio of Minority Affairs while Singh was in-charge of Steel. Both of them submitted their resignations to fulfil the constitutional obligation as they will quit being parliamentarians.

President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the resignations of Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ram Chandra Prasad Singh with immediate effect, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement on Wednesday.

According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan statement: "...as advised by the Prime Minister, the President has directed that Smriti Zubin Irani, Cabinet Minister, be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, in addition to her existing portfolio."

Cabinet minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has been assigned the charge of the Ministry of Steel, in addition to his existing portfolio.

Naqvi met both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Jagat Prakash Nadda before submitting his resignation. Further, PM Modi lauded both the former ministers - Naqvi and Singh for their contribution to the country and the people during their last Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Hence, the saffron party will not be having any Muslim representation in Parliament among its strength of around 400 members. Another BJP Upper House member Syed Zafar Islam's stint has already ended. The non-NDA parties have always been accusing BJP of the nominal presence of minority members in both the Houses - Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

On the other hand, Naqvi and Rajnath Singh are the only two ministers who were also in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee led-BJP government.

Besides, Naqvi's resignation from the Union Cabinet seems to be significant as it came amid the buzz of the upcoming Vice-Presidential election. His name is already doing the rounds along with Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, former Union minister Najma Heptulla and former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Sources said BJP is likely to announce its V-P candidate on Thursday through a press conference.

Moreover, after countrywide incidents of communal tension, especially after BJP's expelled spokesperson Nupur Sharma's comment on Prophet Muhammad, the ruling party at the Centre seems to have pivoted its focus on the welfare of the minority community, evident from the Prime Minister's speech during the BJP national executive meeting recently held in Hyderabad.

The Indian government also faced unprecedented backlash from the Middle East and West African countries as BJP is the incumbent party at the Centre.

Meanwhile, M Venkaiah Naidu's term as Vice-President ends on August 10. July 19 is the last date for nominations for the post of the Vice-President. The elections will be held on August 6.

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