Ten months after Mehbooba Mufti took over as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, she is likely to expand her Cabinet on Friday. Former Roads and Buildings Minister and Amira Kadal MLA Altaf Bukhari is all set to be inducted into Mehbooba’s team. The PDP had left vacant two of its Cabinet berths in April last year, and there were indications that the party will induct senior members into the Cabinet any time. The Cabinet expansion was delayed due to the five-month long unrest in the Valley.
Bukhari was dropped from the Cabinet after some PDP leaders accused him of adopting an anti-party line when the process of government formation was underway, soon after the death of former J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. “Yes, the induction of Altaf Bukhari is certain and he will be taking oath as Cabinet minister on Friday. He could be given the charge of the Roads and Buildings Department or any other important portfolio like Tourism,’’ a senior PDP leader told The Indian Express.
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Along with Bukhari, PDP had dropped another Cabinet minister in the previous government — Javid Mustafa Mir, MLA from Chadoora — and two junior ministers. It had inducted some fresh members into the Cabinet back then.
However, after dropping Bukhari from the Cabinet, there was not a single Cabinet minister representing Srinagar district where PDP had won five out of eight assembly seats in the last state elections. The induction of Altaf Bukhari is being considered significant for the PDP after Srinagar MP Tariq Hameed Karra resigned from the party last year, blaming the party for working against its ideology and people of Kashmir during the unrest.