Cabinet reshuffle to take place any day after April 22
Srinagar, Apr 18: The cabinet reshuffle in ruling PDP-BJP government will be carried out any day after April 22 and among the new faces likely to be inducted include speaker Kavinder Gupta, Surinder Ambardar, Sat Sharma, Rajive Sharma and Shakti Parihar, sources told GNS on Wednesday.
They said senior BJP leader Ram Madhav, who is also the party’s incharge for Jammu and Kashmir, is currently in Moscow while party’s president Amit Shah is busy in Karnataka.
The resignations tendered by all BJP leaders to party president last evening, they said, will not be forwarded to Chief Minister. “It was only for reshuffle purpose,” the sources said.
All the BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government resigned last evening to pave way for a reshuffle of the party ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti-led government.
Sources told Srinagar-based news agency Global News Service that while there was no threat to PDP-BJP government, the resignation will allow the party to induct fresh faces and retain previous ones who are already in the government based on their performance.
The development comes mere 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. To ensure balance in the cabinet, the BJP was likely to upgrade one of its MoS as the cabinet minister, sources said.
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).