SRI NAGAR: Nearly three months after the death of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday took over as the first woman Chief Minister of Muslim majority State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Fifty-six-year-old Mehbooba was sworn-in as the Chief Minister by Governor N N Vohra at Rajbhavan in Jammu this morning. She took the oath of office and secrecy in Urdu, State’s official language. Mehbooba, an MP from South Kashmir, is the second Muslim woman Chief Minister in the country. Mehbooba’s rise in the politics of the State signals a new era in gender equality and empowerment in a society that is by and large still rooted in traditions.
Governor Vohra also administered oath of office to 22 other ministers.
PDP has nine cabinet ministers, including the CM, and three junior ministers, while the BJP got eight cabinet ministers and three Ministers of State (MoS). The BJP’s share in the cabinet has increased by two ministers this time.
Mehbooba sprang a surprise by dropping two cabinet ministers – Altaf Bukhari and Javed Mustafa Mir – and two junior ministers – Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majid Padder. In their place, the party inducted three-time MLA Zahoor Ahmad Mir and Syed Farooq Andrabi. Andrabi is the maternal uncle of Mehbooba.
The BJP also dropped two ministers – Cabinet minister Sukhnandan and MoS Pawan Gupta – and inducted three new faces – Shyam Lal Chowdhary, Sunil Sharma and Ajay Nanda.