Suspense prevails over reshuffle in J&K BJP, Dy CM dashes to Delhi

J&K: BJP-PDP coalition will ride over hiccups, says Ram Madhav

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.

Kavinder Gupta has been appointed as the new Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, a news agency ANI reported.

The much-awaited reshuffle of BJP ministers in J&K cabinet is scheduled for Monday, when the party is likely to introduce new faces in the government to augment its performance ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha and 2020 assembly elections.

It may be mentioned here that major reshuffle in the BJP part of the coalition ministry was necessitated by the resignations of Chowdhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga from the council of ministers over their participation in a rally called by Hindu Ekta Manch in support of those named accused in Kathua rape and murder case and arrested by the Crime Branch of Jammu & Kashmir Police.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sources said that no new faces from the party will be inducted in the Council of Ministers. "BJP national president Amit Shah and party general secretary Ram Madhav have the list which will be handed over to (deputy CM) Singh either tonight (Sunday night) or tomorrow morning", a BJP leader told PTIearlier in the day.

The PDP will have Mohd Khalil Band, MLA from Pulwama, and Mohd Ashraf Mir, MLA from Sonwar, as Cabinet ministers, while the BJP will upgrade Sunil Sharma, at present Minister of State for Transport, to the rank of a Cabinet minister, the officials said.

Meanwhile, an official spokesman said state Chief Secretary B B Vyas today chaired a meeting at convention centre to finalize the arrangements for the oath taking ceremony. Subsequently, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti forwarded their resignations to Raj Bhawan and Governor Vohra accepted the same on April 16. Later Haseeb Drabu was made to resign as finance minister.

With two houses of legislature in J-K, the state can have 25 ministers out of which a quota of 14 has been allocated to the PDP and the remaining to the BJP.

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