BJP picks Nirmal Singh as Deputy CM, to support Mehbooba
Jammu, March 25 (IANS) The BJP on Friday elected Nirmal Singh as its leader in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly and nominated him for the deputy chief minister’s post in the new PDP-BJP alliance government to be headed by PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti.
Speaking after BJP legislators met here, state BJP president Sat Pal Sharma said: “The BJP legislature party has elected Nirmal Singh as its leader and nominated him for the deputy chief minister’s post in the new coalition government.”
Sharma also said the BJP had decided to extend support to Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, to head the PDP-BJP government in the state.
Nirmal Singh also served as the deputy chief minister in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition that was in office for 10 months till Sayeed died on January 7.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor’s Rule since January 8.
Besides the BJP legislators, Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Ram Madhav, general secretary in the Bharatiya Janata Party in charge of Jammu and Kashmir affairs, attended the meeting.
Informed sources said those at the meeting were apprised by Ram Madhav about the recent developments, including the Tuesday meeting in New Delhi between PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The BJP reiterated that no fresh conditions (by PDP) had been accepted and the alliance with the PDP will continue on the basis of the agenda of alliance signed (earlier) by the two parties,” a BJP source told IANS.
Jitendra Singh represents the Kathua-Udhampur Lok Sabha seat for the BJP in the Lok Sabha.
He informed that a BJP-PDP joint coordination committee will meet before the PDP and BJP separately meet Governor N.N. Vohra on Friday.
If and when she takes oath, Mehbooba Mufti will be the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.