President Pranab Mukherjee today accepted the resignations of Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla and Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises G.M. Siddeshwara with immediate effect. As per sources, Heptulla was out of the country and, therefore, couldn't submit her resignation on July 5 though she has decided to do so. Similarly, Siddeshwara was too out of Delhi and couldn't submit his resignation on July 5.
Today, on return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from his five-day visit to African mainland, they submitted their resignation, which has been accepted. It was speculated that last week, when Prime Minister Modi undertook the reshuffle, Heptulla and Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra, who had recently turned 75, could be asked to quit.
Under Heptulla, the ministry held the record for being able to spend 98 percent of the entire Plan Budget in 2015-16 on various schemes and programs meant for the people of minority community. Meanwhile, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the President has directed that Minister of State Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi shall be assigned the Independent charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Also, Babul Supriyo was relieved of the charge of Minister of State in the Ministry of Urban Development, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and was assigned the portfolio of Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.