Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet reshuffle on Monday; Deputy CM Nirmal Singh resigns

Jammu and Kashmir government can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the CM.

Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet reshuffle on Monday; Deputy CM Nirmal Singh resigns
File photo (PTI)

Jammu: The much-awaited reshuffle in the Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government is all set to take place on Monday. As part of the exercise, state's deputy CM Nirmal Singh resigned on Sunday.

The BJP had on April 17, 2018, asked all its nine ministers in the state government to submit their resignations to enable the party to bring in new faces in the two-year-old Mufti Cabinet. The party, however, had not forwarded their resignations to the Governor.

On Saturday, Singh had said that the PDP and the BJP coalition government in J&K will undertake a major reshuffle of the state Cabinet, including induction of some new ministers. "The oath ceremony will take place at 12 noon on April 30," he had told PTI on Saturday. Singh had added that some new ministers will be inducted from the BJP as well.

J&K Governor NN Vohra will administer the oath of office and secrecy to those being inducted into the council of ministers at the convention centre, an invitation for the ceremony read, the news agency said.

The function is being held at the convention centre instead of Raj Bhavan as J&K government has already shifted its base to summer capital Srinagar as part of the bi-annual 'darbar move', under which the government functions six months each in the twin capital cities.

The Civil Secretariat, the seat of the state government and Raj Bhavan closed on Friday and will reopen along with other move offices in Srinagar on May 7.

The BJP had been under pressure ever since two of its ministers - Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga - took part in a rally in support of those accused in the alleged rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. The two ministers subsequently resigned.

Currently, the BJP has six Cabinet ministers, including associate member Sajad Lone and three ministers of state in the J&K government. On the other hand, PDP's Haseeb Drabu was sacked as finance minister in March 2018. 

The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the CM, out of which 14 portfolios are with the PDP and the remaining with the BJP.

(With PTI inputs)