The BJP has asked all its ministers to resign from the Mehbooba Mufti cabinet in Jammu and Kashmir. Reports say this is not a move by the BJP to pull out of the coalition government in the state with the PDP, but merely a reshuffle.
News agencies PTI and ANI both reported that the BJP had asked its ministers to resign. But ANI quoted sources in the state to report that the move was merely a reshuffle.
The development comes in light of the strain that the alleged rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl has placed on the uneasy partnership between the BJP and the PDP.
There has also been speculation in political circles that the BJP and PDP could use the Kathua rape case as a reason to break off ties with an eye on the general elections that are around the corner.
The move also comes just days after two ministers from the BJP resigned from the Mehbooba cabinet over the Kathua rape case.
BJP leaders have marched with protesters in the Jammu region. One of the key demands has been that the investigation into case be handed over the CBI. The rationale offered by the protesters has been that they do not trust the Jammu and Kashmir Police to carry out an impartial investigation.
The eight-year-old victim had allegedly been abducted, drugged and gangraped before being murdered in January, the chargesheet filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Police had said. The chargesheet itself has been a point of controversy, with some activists, who claimed to be lawyers, attempting to prevent the chargesheet from being filed.