Qazi Muhammad Afzal, senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and housing and urban development minister, on Tuesday resigned from the cabinet after he was divested of the forest portfolio following corruption charges.
Speaking to IANS, Qazi said: "I was divested of the forest portfolio by the chief minister without assigning any reason and without taking my party high command into confidence. So, I have decided to step down on moral grounds."
PDP spokesman Mansoor Hussain also confirmed that the Qazi had tendered his resignation and sent it to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Informed sources here said the resignation was being forwarded to the governor for acceptance.
On Sunday, Azad had divested Qazi of his forest, environment and ecology portfolio, following alleged bungling by him leading to an artificial scarcity of timber in the Kashmir valley.
The state government had also suspended the managing director of the state forest corporation.