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Union Minister Najma Heptullah resigns
On Tuesday, Dr Najma A Heptulla resigned from her post as Minister for Minority Affairs.

The ministry has been given to Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (independent charge).

Along with Ms Heptullah, Minister of State for Heavy Industries, G M Siddeshwara also resigned. Both the resignations have been accepted by the President, Pranab Mukherjee.

Ms Heptullah was abroad while the cabinet was reshuffled last week and tendered her resignation after she returned. She was given time to return from the trip and submit her resignation.

In a statement, Ms Heptulla said "I resigned due to personal reasons and I will always be available for any responsibility given to me in future."

There were speculations that in the latest cabinet reshuffle, Heptullah could have been asked by the Prime Minister to quit as she was above 75 years of age and the PM is believed to have set an age bar of 75 years for ministers in his cabinet.

BJP veterans like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have also been kept out of the Cabinet due to their age.

In another development, MoS Babul Supriyo was relieved of his charge in Ministry of Urban Development, and Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation. He was reassigned the portfolio of MoS in the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises.

The only member in the cabinet now who is above the age of 75 is Kalraj Mishra. Mishra is seen as a strong Brahmin face from the state of Uttar Pradesh. The most likely reason that he was allowed to continue seems to be the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year.

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