Mehbooba Mufti To Expand Council Of Ministers

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will carry out on Friday the first expansion of her nine-month-old ministry with induction of one or two PDP members.

“There is a cabinet reshuffle. New Ministers will be inducted into the government tomorrow,” a top source in the state government said.

According to the arrangement between the two allies, PDP has a quota of 14 ministers, including the Chief Minister, while BJP has 11 ministerial berths. Currently, PDP has 12 Ministers and BJP has 11 Ministers including, the Deputy Chief Minister and Sajjad Lone. According to sources, PDP MLA from Amira Kadal constituency Altaf Bukhari is likely to stage a comeback.

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Bukhari, who was a minister in the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government, was not included in the cabinet when Mehbooba was sworn-in as the Chief Minister in April last year. There are unconfirmed reports that Mehbooba is also likely to induct an MLA from South Kashmir in the ministry.

Besides Bukhari, Javid Mustafa Mir and two Ministers of State Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majeed Padroo, who were part of the previous government led by her father, had been dropped by her. BJP had dropped Sukhnandan Choudhary. The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers.