In 3 years, PDP-BJP has reshuffled all of its ministers
Srinagar, May 03: In their three year alliance, all ministers of the PDP-BJP coalition have either been reshuffled or dropped, raising questions over the performance of the government.
Since March 2015, the PDP-BJP alliance reshuffled or expanded its cabinet multiple times.
Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took oath as the chief minister of the PDP-BJP government on March 1, 2015, along with 24 ministers.
BJP’s Nirmal Singh was made deputy chief minister, who was recently replaced by Kavindar Gupta, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
Sayeed awarded ministries of Higher Education and Education to his close lieutenant and bureaucrat-turned-politician Naeem Akhter.
Mohammad Altaf Bukhari was appointed the Roads and Building Minister. Haseeb Drabu was given the important portfolio of Finance.
PDP’s senior most leader after Sayeed and fourth consecutive time MLA, Abdul Rehman Veeri was given Horticulture and Haj and Auqaf portfolio.
BJP MLA from Basohli, Choudhary Lal Singh, was given Health and Medical Education apart from ARI and Trainings.
After the death of Sayeed, when his daughter Mehbooba Mufti took over the Chief Minister in April 2016, she dropped four of the ministers of the government led by her father-Altaf Bukhari, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, and Abdul Majeed Padroo.
Instead, she brought in two new faces as ministers of state, MLA Pampore Zahoor Ahmad Mir, and MLA Dooru Farooq Andrabi.
BJP too dropped two former ministers and brought in two new faces.
There was change in portfolios of several ministers. Akhtar was given Roads and Buildings Department portfolio. Similarly, Bali Bhagat of the BJP got Health and Medical Education, while Lal Singh was given Forest Department.
In February 2017, Altaf Bukhari was inducted into the cabinet and given Education Department. PDP also dropped two ministers, Haseeb Drabu and Farooq Ahmad Andrabi. Tasaduq Mufti, Chief Minster’s brother and Javaid Mustafa Mir were inducted into the cabinet. Bukhari was given the portfolio of Finance Department.
This week, there was also a major reshuffle when the PDP-BJP inducted seven new faces into the cabinet. There was change in majority of portfolios and some ministers were elevated to the cabinet ranks.
However, the ruling parties claim that reshuffle was not connected with “poor performance” of ministers.
BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav, called the reshuffle of ministers a “normal exercise”.
“We had decided to go for reshuffle after three years on the basis of performances. Reshuffle is a normal exercise. We want to give opportunity to new MLAs to understand the governance. Two ministers resigned for different reasons. Those who have been removed will be given other responsibilities,” he has said.
BJP’s Chief Spokesperson, Sunil Sethi, refuted that the latest reshuffle was or dropping of ministers from the cabinet with their poor performance.
“Every minister did a great job in the PDP-BJP government,” Sethi claimed.
Echoing the views of Sethi, PDP Chief Spokesperson, Rafi Ahmad Mir, said reshuffling of ministers was a normal process.
Over dropping of Haq Khan, PDP Vice President Mohammad Sartaj Madni said, “He (Khan) is all set to get a lead role, befitting his stature and competence”.
“Khan has served as a legislator and minister and in his capacity as cabinet colleague of Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the party president Mehbooba Mufti. He raised the governance standards very high through his administrative capability, political vision and commitment for public,” Madni said.