Srinagar, Feb 22: The ruling PDP-BJP government is all set to reshuffle cabinet in the first week of March.
Sources said that while both parties were mulling to bring new faces in order to counter anti-incumbency factor. However, sources said that it while PDP would replace only a few, major reshuffle was expected in BJP portfolios.
Sources within the government revealed that the proposed cabinet reshuffle was likely to be announced by March 7.
They 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.
At the same time, the BJP has only 8 including Deputy Chief Minister as cabinet ministers.
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, Haseeb A. Drabu, 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, Chander Parkash, Bali Bhagat, Lal Singh, Sajad Gani Lone, Chering Dorjay, Sham Lal Chaudhary, Abdul Ghani Kohli, Sunil Kumar Sharma (MoS), Priya Sethi (MoS), and Ajay Nanda (MoS). (GNS)