Srinagar: A day after the new government was administered oath, social welfare minister and Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone sent his resignation to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, upset that he has again been allotted a ‘low-profile portfolio’.
The move prompted the PDP and BJP to do firefighting by persuading him to continue as minister in the new government. He was assured that his portfolio will be changed, a source said.
Lone did not attend his office and stayed at his residence in Jammu.
After his resignation, finance minister Haseeb Drabu and youth sports and services minister Imran Raza Ansra drove to Lone’s residence and asked him to withdraw the resignation.
Till this report was filed, he had not changed his decision, sources said.
The BJP-led government at the centre was also intervening to convince him against the resignation as it will deal a blow to the government that is already under strain.
Lone’s party won two seats in the 87-member Legislative Assembly in 2014 Assembly elections. He is son of senior resistance leader late Abdul Gani Lone.
Last year too, he had initially shown contempt for the animal husbandry ministry he was allotted. However, he later joined the office.
With Mehbooba as the CM, Lone was expecting to be allocated health ministry and had even conveyed to his party workers about it as well.
BJP general secretary state Ashok Kaul State General Secretary (organisation) said that they are convincing him and his demand will be looked into.
“We may allocate him a new ministry. Narazgi hoti rehti hain,” he told Kashmir Reader.
Lone was not available for his comments.