Tassaduq Mufti, the younger brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and Javaid Mustafa Mir, the PDP MLA from Chadoora, were sworn in as cabinet ministers by Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra here on Thursday. Both took oath in English. According to an order issued by the CM, Tassaduq has been given the tourism ministry, a portfolio earlier with Mufti. Mir was given the portfolios of disaster management, relief and rehabilitation and reconstruction, and floriculture, the order said.
With their induction into the ministry, both the PDP and the BJP, which are coalition partners, have exhausted their quota of ministerial berths. In view of the combined strength of 125 legislators, the cabinet can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the Chief Minister.
Tassaduq had been working as a coordinator in the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell, while Mir was revenue minister in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed cabinet. With their induction into the cabinet, the PDP has 12 cabinet ministers and two ministers of state, while the BJP has eight cabinet ministers, including Sajjad Lone of the People’s Conference, and three ministers of state.
In view of the induction of the two ministers, there is likely to be change in portfolio of some ministers from the PDP, sources said, adding that some of them were already unhappy with allocation of their current portfolios. Horticulture Minister Basharat Bukhari and Imran Raza Ansari, Minister for Information Technology, Technical Education, Youth Services and Sports, did not attend the swearing-in ceremony.