SRINAGAR: Taking everybody by surprise, PDP chief Mehoboba Mufti, who took over as first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, dropped four party ministers including a senior leader.
Mehbooba dropped Altaf Bukhari and Javed Mustafa Mir, who were cabinet ministers in late Mufti Sayeed’s 10 month long government. Both are senior leaders.
Bukhari is party treasurer and represents Amira Kadal constituency in Assembly while Javed Mustafa Mir represents Chadoora constituency. He won three elections in a row from Chadoora.
Besides, Mehbooba also dropped two former MoS in Mufti-Sayeed’s cabinet – Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majid Padder.
Mir had defeated former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah from Sonawar constituency in Srinagar.
Sources said Mehbooba dropped Bukhari for his closeness to BJP camp during the over two month long stalemate on government formation between allies PDP and BJP in the State.
They said Mehbooba was not happy with his behavior and “in order to maintain discipline in the party”, she dropped her from the cabinet.
Sources said Bukhari had been conveyed that he would no longer be part of the government.
The new faces inducted by Mehbooba in the cabinet includes Zahoor Ahmad Mir and Syed Farooq Andrabi. Mir is three time MLA while Andrabi is the maternal uncle of Mehbooba.
BJP drops two ministers
The BJP dropped two ministers Sukhnanadan Kumar and Pawan Gupta. Sukhnandan was cabinet minister and Gupta Mos during Mufti Sayeed’s government.
They were replaced by Choudhary Sham Lal and Ajay Nanda.
Sukhnandan represented Marh constituency while Pawan Gupta, who won Udhampur constituency as an independent candidate but later pledged support to the saffron party.
Ministers from PDP
Abdul Rahman Veri, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Abdul Haq Khan, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Chaudhary Zulfiqar Ali, Syed Naeem Akhtar, Imran Raza Ansari, Aasiya Naqash, Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi, Zahoor Ahmad Mir.
Ministers from BJP
Nirmal Singh, Chander Prakash, Bali Baghat, Lal Singh, Tsering Dorjee, Sham Lal Chaudhary, Abdul Gani Kohli, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Priya Sethi, Ajay Nanda.
Separatist-turned-mainstream politician Sajad Gani Lone was also inducted in the cabinet from the BJP quota.