Rajiv Jasrotia. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
An MLA who reportedly attended the rally taken out in Kathua in support of the suspected rapists of an eight-year-old girl has been sworn in as a Jammu and Kashmir cabinet minister.
The MLA in question is Rajiv Jasrotia, who represents Kathua in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.
Jammu and Kashmir Assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta and seven others were on Monday sworn in as ministers in the state's PDP-BJP government led by Mehbooba Mufti .
The reshuffle is a result of BJP ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga resigning from the cabinet earlier this month after they were criticised for taking part in the same rally Jasrotia is reported to have attended.
The move was attacked on Twitter by former chief minister Omar Abdullah.
"2 BJP ministers removed in J&K for attending a pro-rapist rally & a MLA who is reported to have attended the same rally is promoted as a minister. Why are the BJP/ @MehboobaMufti confused about where they stand on the #Kathua rape?" he tweeted.
Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also took to Twitter to slam the BJP.
"As per news reports BJP MLA who attended the pro-rapist rally in Kathua, Rajeev Jasrotia, is now a minister in the cabinet reshuffle. BJP protects rapists and promotes rape apologists. Shame," Chaturvedi tweeted.
Kavinder Gupta will take over as the state's deputy chief minister from Nirmal Singh, who submitted his resignation last night.
Gupta himself ran into trouble on Monday when, after his swearing in, he referred to the Kathua gang rape — which sent shockwaves through the nation — as a "minor incident".