Mehbooba to expand council of ministers today
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti would on Thursday induct her brother Tassaduq Mufti and former minister and MLA Chadoora, Javaid Mustafa Mir, in her ministerial team.
A source told Greater Kashmir that both Tassaduq and Javaid would take the oath of office and secrecy as ministers during the swearing-in ceremony scheduled to take place at Raj Bhavan on Thursday morning.
"Javaid, who was on Umrah pilgrimage, reached Jammu this afternoon," the source disclosed. "The PDP has already informed its alliance partner BJP about the expansion."
Mehbooba's uncle and former minister of state Farooq Andrabi "volunteered to resign" from the council of ministers recently to pave way for expansion in the team of ministers headed by Mehbooba Mufti.
This newspaper had already reported that the PDP is inducting two faces, including Tassaduq, in the council of ministers and the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers would take place on December 28.
This would be the second expansion in the council of ministers that earlier this year saw induction of PDP heavyweight Syed Altaf Bukhari.
With the joining of Tassaduq and Javaid, the number of ministers in the PDP-BJP coalition government would go to 25—the maximum permissible limit in the council of ministers.
As per the J&K constitution, the strength of council of ministers should not exceed 20 percent of the total the strength of the state legislature—89 MLAs and 36 MLCs.
Javaid, who represents Chadoora assembly segment in Budgam district, was minister for revenue in Mufti Muhammad Sayeed-led government in 2015, but was dropped by Mehbooba Mufti from her ministerial team when she took oath as chief minister on April 4, 2016.
He was also MOS for quite some time in the PDP-Congress rule from 2002-2008.
Tassaduq was last week nominated as MLC by Governor NN Vohra on recommendations of the state government. He joined politics after demise of his father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in January 2016.