J&K Cabinet reshuffle set for Monday

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Jammu, April 29 (IANS) The much-awaited reshuffle of the Jammu and Kashmir coalition ministry will be done on Monday, with Governor N.N. Vohra on Sunday extending a formal invitation for the event.

The swearing-in of new Ministers in Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s Cabinet by the Governor is scheduled to held at noon at the Convention Centre instead of Raj Bhavan as all government offices here shut down on Saturday ahead of a six-month sojourn in summer capital Srinagar.

Vohra extended invitation to state Ministers, legislators and the media for the event.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sources said that no new faces from the party will be inducted in the Council of Ministers.

One ministerial berth that fell vacant after the dropping of then Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu from the Council of Ministers will not be filled by the ruling party now.

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The sources, however, did not rule out minor reallocation of portfolios among the PDP Ministers.

Its coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to induct some new faces and also withdraw some of its Ministers from the Council of Ministers.

The names doing the rounds for ministerial berths include BJP state unit President Sat Sharma, Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta, Sukhnandan Choudhary, Shakti Parihar, Rajesh Jasrota, and Ravinder Raina.

BJP’s junior Minister Sunil Sharma is likely to be elevated to Cabinet rank.

The reshuffle was due ever since two BJP Ministers Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga were asked to resign due to a controversy over their participation in a Hindu Ekta Manch rally in support of the accused in the Kathua rape-murder case.

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The BJP had sought and received resignations of all party Ministers in the Council of Ministers though only two were forwarded to the Chief Minister.

–IANS

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