Mehbooba takes oath as Jammu and Kashmir CM

Jammu, April 4 (IANS) PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday took oath as Jammu and Kashmir’s first woman chief minister, heading a 22-member ministry with the BJP as the junior ally.

Mehbooba Mufti, 56 and now a Lok Sabha member, was sworn in by Governor N.N. Vohra here, almost three months after the state came under Governor’s Rule on January 8.

The Peoples Democratic Party has nine cabinet and three junior ministers — the chief minister included — and the Bharatiya Janata Party has eight cabinet and two junior ministers in the new government.

BJP leader Nirmal Singh remains the deputy chief minister.

The new coalition takes office after three months of political uncertainty sparked by the death on January 7 of then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

The PDP dropped two cabinet ministers — Altaf Bukhari and Javaid Mustafa Mir and inducted three-time legislator Zahoor Mir.

The BJP dropped cabinet minister Chaudary Sukhnandan and brought in his place Shyam Lal Chaudhary. The BJP also dropped a junior minister, Pawan Gupta.

The BJP share of cabinet ministers includes People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone, son of separatist politician Abdul Ghani Lone.

Mehbooba Mufti is the 13th chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state.

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