Cabinet reshuffle: Power went to BJP man who studied up to class 12; 10th pass PDP member got Agri
Srinagar, May 01: The ruling coalition has granted two major cabinet berths to the politicians who have barely completed intermediate level of education, with one of them reportedly having a criminal record.
In the cabinet reshuffle executed on Monday, BJP’s Sunil Sharma, who represents Kishtwar constituency, has been given the portfolio of Power Development.
Sharma, as per his pre-election declaration, had completed his class 12 and had been “pursing graduation from IGNOU”.
Earlier the Minister of State (MoS) for Transport, he now owns the responsibility of a major sector, which involves tussle between the state and New Delhi over exploitation of the former’s water resources.
Sharma replaced Dr Nirmal Singh, the ex-deputy CM, who was a doctorate in History and taught the subject as a professor in Jammu University.
A report published by Indian Express in 2016 claimed that prior to being an MLA, Sharma’s name was “recorded in an FIR (no. 133/08) registered at Kishtwar police station as a member of the group that had allegedly attacked people from the other community, killing two persons and leaving several others injured during the communal clashes in Kishtwar in 2008.”
As a minister, his orders would be passed on to Commissioner Secretary for Power and 24 Chief and Superintending engineers.
Another politician who got a Cabinet berth in spite of his low academic achievements is PDP’s Khalid Bandh.
Bandh, as per his declared profile, has only studied up to class 10. His profile reads he is a “social activist” with assets worth “Rs 1.93 crore”.
He is now the Minister for Agriculture Production, a portfolio which was earlier headed by Ghulam Nabi Lone, a lawyer by profession.
Agriculture too is a complex ministry in J&K, with as many as nine major sponsored-schemes being simultaneously implemented in the state.
Among those reporting to Bandh would be senior KAS officers and Commissioner Secretary Agriculture.