Historic-first: India’s ruling party has no Muslim MP

India's ruling party

New Delhi: For the first time in its history, India’s ruling party lacks a Muslim member of parliament as a result of the resignation of a federal minister.

One day before his term as a member of parliament (MP) was set to expire, Minorities Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced his resignation on Wednesday.

The 64-year-old lawmaker was the lone Muslim minister in the approximately 400-member Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Naqvi’s resignation came as the BJP continued abusing the minority population ever since it came to power in 2014.

Around 200 million Muslims live in India, making it the third-largest Muslim nation in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.

Smriti Irani, a 46-year-old former actress who is now a politician, has replaced Naqvi.

In light of the outcry surrounding Nupur Sharma’s blasphemous remarks about the Holy Prophet (PBUH), media reports suggest that the BJP might be considering Naqvi for the position of vice-president of India.

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Elections for vice president are set for August 6, while M Venkaiah Naidu’s term as president expires on August 10.

Last month, the BJP nominated Droupadi Murmu for the president’s post. Murmu would become only the second woman to hold the position and the first tribal politician in India if she were to win.

According to India’s constitution, the president and vice president serve mostly in a ceremonial capacity, with the prime minister and his cabinet exercising executive authority.

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