New Delhi: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi resigned Wednesday as Union minister, a day before his tenure ends in the Rajya Sabha.
Naqvi was the minister of minority affairs, as well as the Deputy Leader of the Upper House.
In June’s Rajya Sabha elections, several BJP leaders were sent to the Upper House from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Naqvi did not get a ticket for Rajya Sabha, amid speculation that he might be the BJP’s vice-presidential candidate in the 6 August elections.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have praised Naqvi in a Cabinet meeting, lauding his eight-year contribution to the country.
Soon after the meeting, Naqvi met BJP chief J.P. Nadda at the party’s headquarters in Delhi.
With Naqvi’s resignation, the BJP now has no Muslim among its 395 Members of Parliament.
Janata Dal (United)’s R.C.P. Singh also resigned Wednesday as his term ends along with Naqvi’s. He was the Union Steel Minister and the only one from his party at the Centre.
Singh has been at the cross hairs of the JD(U) top leadership for his perceived proximity to the BJP. Though the two parties are allies, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has not taken the bonhomie too lightly.
Kumar denied Singh the only seat it expected to win from Bihar in the Rajya Sabha elections in June, leaving Singh with no option but to resign at the end of his term.