In an unanticipated development, India has on Wednesday witnessed a nationwide talk show over the back-to-back resignations in Delhi as two Union Ministers have relinquished their ministerial posts and their resignation has spurred a heated debate with several reasons floating behind their move. It is the first time since the last cabinet overhaul that the Union Ministers have tendered their resignations.
Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Union Minister of Steel Ramchandra Prasad Singh have resigned on Wednesday only to be caught in more limelight across the country. Both of them had handed over their resignation papers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and according to reports, their resignations have come a day before the end of their Rajya Sabha terms.
On the front of why Naqvi has resigned and why the BJP hasn't given him another term in the Upper House, it has been speculated that 64-year-old Naqvi will be the BJP's candidate for the Vice President of India. The incumbent Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's term will be ending on August 10 and the last date for filing the nomination for the Vice President polls is July 19 while the polls would be held on August 6.
As the ruling BJP has been planning to field a candidate from the Muslim community for the Vice President polls to subdue the backlash that erupted against the saffron camp over the controversial remarks from BJP leader Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammad, the Modi- Shah duo has decided to nominate Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to the second-highest constitutional post in India after the President.
The factor which arose more speculations is that before handing in his resignation to Modi, Naqvi has met BJP National President JP Nadda and held talks with him and it has been reported that Nadda had sought confirmation from Naqvi to run for the Vice President post. With Naqvi's resignation, the BJP marks two major changes - i) Union Minister Rajnath Singh will now be the only minister who also served in the Vajpayee administration - ii) With Naqvi's exit from the Parliament, the BJP will have no Muslim MP among its 395 Members of Parliament.
On the other hand, it has been reported that Ramchandra Prasad Singh has put in his papers as his party - Janata Dal, which observes an alliance with BJP, didn't offer another term in the Parliament. Janata Dal Chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has vetoed Singh's re-nomination as the former was not happy with the latter's close conduct with the BJP. Interestingly, today- July 6 is the 64th birthday of Singh and Modi wished him ahead of his resignation.
Modi took to Twitter and wrote, "Birthday greetings to Union Minister Shri @RCP_Singh Ji. May he be blessed with a long and healthy life." Prime Minister Modi praised both Naqvi and Singh for their contribution to the country during their tenure as they attended their last cabinet meeting on Wednesday.