Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has rejected the resignation of Housing and Urban Development Minister Qazi Mohammad Afzal from the council of ministers saying he did not find any fault with him and asked him to continue as minister, official sources said.
"I see no reason to accept your resignation. I will therefore look forward to continue to work with you in the council of ministers," Azad said in a letter written to Qazi late Tuesday's night.
Qazi submitted his resignation yesterday after he was stripped of forest portfolio on Sunday.
Denying Qazi's charge that he was not taken into confidence before the forest portfolio was taken away from him, the chief minister said,
"I had discussed the matter with you before taking the decision and I had advised you to let me keep this portfolio for sometime to clear the mess (in forest department) and then return it to you after sometime."
Azad said he was surprised to receive Qazi's letter of resignation.
"I was even more surprised by the reasons cited by you for tendering the resignation. You may recall that you had met me number of times complaining about conduct and behaviour of some officers of the forest departement and state forest corporation," he said in the letter.
"You had mentioned that one of the officers had the temerity to leave the country on more than one occasion without seeking the permission of the commissioner/ secretary of the departement or you as the minister or even the chief minister."