SRINAGAR: The induction of a senior PDP leader and former minister in cabinet by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and reshuffle of portfolios of some ministers on Friday has led to crisis in the ruling party with two disgruntled PDP ministers resigning in the evening.
Sources said two PDP ministers – Syed Basharat Bukhari and Imran Ansari – resigned from the cabinet this evening.
“Both the ministers have submitted their resignations to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Both have listed reasons for their resignation in their respective letters to CM,” they said.
Broadcaster-turned-politician, Bukhari was divested of key portfolios of Revenue, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and given charge of only less important Horticulture department by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti after senior PDP leader and former minister Altaf Bukhari was inducted in the cabinet today.
Imran Ansari, who was Minister for Information Technology, Technical Education and Youth Services & Sports, resigned because he was promised by Mehbooba that he would be given an important portfolio as and when cabinet is expanded, sources said.
Earlier, in the afternoon Governor N N Vohra administered oath of office and secrecy to Atlaf Bukhari at Raj Bhawan in Jammu.
With Bukhari's induction, the council of ministers of PDP-BJP coalition government has gone up to 24.
The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers. As per agreement between PDP and BJP, PDP will be having 14 ministers including Chief Minister and BJP 11 ministerial berths.
After his induction in the cabinet, Altaf Bukhari was given charge of Education Department, which was earlier held by Naeem Akhtar.
Akhtar was given charge of high profile Public Works Department, which was earlier held by Abdul Rehman Veeri.
Veeri was assigned charge of Ministry of Revenue, Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction and Parliamentary Affairs.
Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu was also divested of Culture department, which will be looked after by CM Mehbooba herself.
Altaf Bukhari was R&B minister in Mufti Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition government. He was dropped by Mehbooba after taking over as CM of the coalition government due to his proximity with BJP during over three months stalemate on government formation in the State after Mufti Sayeed’s death on January 7 last year.
Now, he has been inducted in the cabinet with an eye on bypoll of Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.
The seat fell vacant after the PDP MP Tariq Karra resigned from the party and the Lok Sabha last year.
Karra was the face of PDP in Srinagar and is all set to join Congress and contest the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat as Congress candidate.
Bukhari wields lot of influence in Srinagar and can prove beneficial for the PDP in check-mating Karra and strengthen party in Srinagar, which has remained stronghold of NC.