Suspense over, new BJP ministers to take oath on Monday

Srinagar, April 28: The suspense over the reshuffle of BJP ministers in the cabinet headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is finally over as oath ceremony is being held at Convention centre Jammu on April 30.

Highly placed sources said that invitation will be sent to all the Ministers and Journalists by tomorrow. “The Oath Ceremony will take place at 12 noon on the 30th afternoon,” the sources said.

Confirming the development, BJP Vice President Avinash Rai Khanna said that oath ceremony has been fixed for April 30. He said that names of the ministers to be inducted into the cabinet have also been finalized but refused to divulge their names.

Sources, however, said that deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh, health minister Bali Bhagat are likely to be retained and MoS Sunil Sharma was likely to elevate to cabinet rank.

Others who are likely to be inducted in the cabinet include speaker Kavinder Gupta, Sukhnandan Chaudhary, Shakti Parihar, Devinder Kumar Manyal, Rajeev Sharma, Ravinder Raina and Rajeev Jasrotia.

All the BJP ministers in the government have resigned last week to pave way for a reshuffle of the party ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti-led government.

The development came a few days after two BJP ministers, who had attended protests in favour of accused in horrific Kathua rape and murder case.

Sources said the cabinet reshuffle in the BJP became necessary when the PDP inducted Tassaduq Hussain Mufti and Javaid Mustafa Mir as cabinet ministers raising the strength of the party to 12, including Chief Minister, in the state cabinet. The Chief Minister later allotted Tourism portfolio to her brother Tassaduq Mufti while Javaid was assigned Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Floriculture departments.

Senior PDP Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri was divested of Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction portfolios while as he retained Revenue and was also given Parliamentary Affairs and Hajj and Auqaf portfolios. In the process, Syed Farooq Andrabi tendered his resignation from the ministry of Hajj & Auqaf. Later Haseeb Drabu was made to resign as finance minister.

At the same time, the BJP has only six including Deputy Chief Minister as cabinet ministers even as portfolios held by Chandar Prakash Ganga and Lal Singh were assigned to Dr Nirmal Singh.

The PDP has 2 MoS while the BJP has three.

The incumbent PDP ministers include Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Abdul Rehman Veeri, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Abdul Haq Khan, Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, Naeem Akhtar, Imran Raza Ansari, Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, Asiea Naqash and Zahoor Ahmad Mir. Naqash and Mir are MoS. The BJP has deputy chief minister Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh, Bali Bhagat, Sajad Gani Lone, Chering Dorjay, Sham Lal Chaudhary, Abdul Ghani Kohli, Sunil Kumar Sharma (MoS), Priya Sethi (MoS), and Ajay Nanda (MoS). (GNS)

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