Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday accepted the resignations of two Bharatiya Janata Party ministers — Chander Prakash Ganga and Choudhary Lal Singh – who sparked off controversy after participating in the Hindu Ekta Munch rally in Hiranagar that allegedly sought to protect the accused in Kathua rape and murder case.

Mufti has now forwarded the resignations of the BJP ministers to Governor NN Vohra for acceptance.

According to media reports, Mehbooba Mufti had made it clear to the BJP high command that unless these two ministers stepped down, she could not continue to head the coalition in the state.

With these resignations, the number of ministers in the state government has come down to 22, including nine from the BJP.

There are three vacancies in the council of ministers as the PDP had last month removed its finance minister Haseeb Drabu unceremoniously, officials said.

The eight-year-old girl was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17. During investigation, the crime branch alleged she was drugged and repeatedly raped before being killed by crushing her head with stones.

(With agency inputs)