State gears up for cabinet expansion

Oath Ceremony Likely On Tuesday; Soz Meets CM


Jammu, Jan 13: With Congress finally handing over the list of probables to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, a reshuffle-cum-expansion of council of ministers in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be effected on Tuesday.
 Informed sources said that Governor N N Vohra is returning on Tuesday morning and oath ceremony to induct new ministers may be held on the same day.
 “The ceremony may be held on Tuesday at 4 pm at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium at Jammu University”, sources said adding that authorities at Jammu University have been verbally told to keep the auditorium available for Tuesday.
 However, sources said that alternate arrangement has also been made at Rajbhawan.
 Greater Kashmir has learned from the informed sources in the ruling parties that both National Conference and Congress have finalized the list of the probables for the expansion.
 They said the JKPCC chief, Saif-ud-Din Soz arrived here this afternoon and straightway drove to the Chief Minister’s residence here.
 “The duo discussed the expansion process in detail and list of Congress probables was also handed over to the CM”, sources claimed.
 A Congress spokesman confirmed that Soz called on CM today but said the matter regarding security to the Panchayat representatives was also discussed.
 The names emerging out of Congress camp for the induction in council of ministers include Abdul Majid Wani from Doda, Vikar Rasool Wani from Banihal and Ghulam Ahmed Mir from Dooru-Shahbad (Anantnag). Sources also said that the party would also go for a major rejig in the cabinet out of its quota. Minister for Medical Education RS Chib, whose term as MLC is expiring in March is also likely to be dropped from the cabinet and the portfolio would go to the new face.
 They said that several Congress legislators, including RS Chib, Shabir Ahmed Khan and Abdul Majid Wani continue to be camping in New Delhi.
 It was also learnt that Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand left for New Delhi this evening.
 As reported already, National Conference would be seeking resignation from all its ministers, advisors and heads of advisory boards on Monday.
 “The Chief Minister has been authorized by the party to take a final call and retain or replace the ministers”, sources claimed.
 As per the constitutional provision in Jammu and Kashmir, the strength of the council of ministers cannot be more 20 percent of the strength of state's bicameral legislature. The legislative assembly has 87 seats and the legislative council has 36 seats.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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