Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Tuesday assigned portfolios to his council of ministers, ending the suspense over sharing of portfolios between the ruling alliance partners PDP and BJP.
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh (BJP) has been assigned the important portfolio of power development, housing and urban development.
Abdul Rehman Veeri (PDP) got horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf while Haseeb Drabu (PDP) got finance, labour and employment.
Chander Prakash (BJP) got industries and commerce.
Javaid Mustafa Mir (PDP) got revenue while Lal Singh (BJP) got health, medical education, ARI and training.
Abdul Haq Khan (PDP) got rural development, Bali Bhagat (BJP) got social welfare, forest, ecology and environment.
Syed Basharat Bukhari (PDP) will hold the portfolio of law, justice and parliamentary affairs and Sukhnandan Kumar (BJP) will manage public health engineering.
Altaf Bukhari (PDP) got public works, floriculture and parks.
Chowdhary Zulfiqar (PDP) got consumer affairs and public distribution and tribal affairs.
Sajjad Gani Lone of the Peoples Conference got animal husbandry, science and technology.
Imran Raza Ali (PDP) got information technology, technical education, youth services and sports. Naeem Akhtar (PDP) got education.
All these ministers hold cabinet rank in the council of ministers.
The portfolio assignment order specifies that all other departments/subjects not assigned to any of the above ministers shall remain with the chief minister.
Sayeed holds the all important portfolios of home and general administration.
Among the junior ministers, Chering Dorjay (BJP) will hold independent charge of the cooperative department while Abdul Ghani Kohli (BJP) will hold independent charge of the transport department.
The two women junior ministers, Priya Sethi and Asiya Naqash, will be in charge of the information and health departments respectively.
Sajjad Lone refuses to join Mufti’s cabinet
Upset over the portfolio allocated to him, Sajjad Gani Lone of the Peoples Conference (PC) on Wednesday refused to join the council of ministers in the PDP-BJP government headed by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
Lone was miffed over allocation of the animal husbandry department portfolio to him by Sayeed Tuesday.
He did not attend his office in winter capital Jammu on Wednesday and instead chose to fly back to the Valley.
“Yes, he has refused to join the council of ministers. He has also surrendered all entitlements including security, official vehicle and other perks given to him as a cabinet minister,” said a Peoples Conference source.
The source said Sajjad is flying back to Srinagar Wednesday.
On whether he had resigned from the council of ministers, the source said: “No, he has not resigned so far, but a decision on whether he should resign from the council of ministers or not would be taken after he meets party rank and file in the Valley.”
Sajjad, according to his party men, was unhappy over allotment of what believes to be, “an insignificant portfolio like animal husbandry”.
Peoples Conference activists argue that the former separatist leader who joined the electoral fray and won state assembly elections from north Kashmir Handwara constituency last year deserved a better deal so that he could convince his voters that joining mainstream politics would usher in better days for the people in Kashmir.
The party has two seats in the 87-member state legislative assembly.
Lone has extended support to the BJP. He was sworn in as a cabinet minister on Sunday as a BJP nominee in the council of ministers headed by Mufti Sayeed.