J&K Minister To Be Dropped For Seeking State’s Division11 December 2010
Times of India
Jammu: A week after his call for trifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir, the Congress high command has all but decided to ask J&K health minister Sham Lal Sharma to resign from the NC-Congress coalition government. A formal announcement in this regard is likely in a couple of days. Sharma's demand for a separate Jammu state, union territory status for Ladakh and 'Azadi' for the Valley at a Congress rally had left the party red faced. The minister had made the comments in state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz's presence. The party has long opposed the state's division and accused the BJP, which is soft on trifurcation, of trying to divide the state along 'religious lines'. It maintains that the demand for a separate Jammu is akin to the two-nation theory. A sources said the high command would ask the minister to submit his resignation to CM Omar Abdullah in a couple of days. 'The high command has decided to act and drop him from the ministry. A Congress spokesman Abhishek has termed his remarks personal,' a source said. Omar had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and sought action against Sharma earlier this week. Omar had said that action would be considered against him after examining the content of his speech. Despite repeated requests, Sharma refused to talk to TOI. Early this week, the high command had asked the state Congress leadership to restrain its leaders from making remarks that may embarrass the CM. A state Congress faction had also demanded action against the minister. 'The high command has acceded to the chief minister and the Congress faction's demand,' said another source.