Srinagar: The political crisis that erupted after the resignation of two PDP ministers is subsiding as one of the disgruntled ministers rejoined the cabinet on Monday.
Basharat Bukhari, who lost his revenue and rehabilitation portfolio in PDP-BJP government’s maiden cabinet rejig, assumed the charge of horticulture ministry in the afternoon. However, Information, youth services and sports minister Imran Raza Ansari has left for pilgrimage to Iran. As reported by Kashmir Reader, Imran is seeking a portfolio that will keep him connected with his “largely rural voter base”.
It was learnt chief minister Mehbooba Mufti insisted on Basharat’s rejoining the office and leaving grievances for a later time. A top PDP leader privy to the development said Basharat joined the office on Mehbooba’s insistence after he felt “pacified by her assurance”.
“It is likely he might be given the charge of culture. It was not reshuffle alone but he was also annoyed by non-cooperation of some ministerial colleagues,” he said.
Mehbooba had divested finance minister Haseeb Drabu of the culture portfolio and had kept it with herself in the reshuffle.
The resignation of the duo according to the party insiders was seen a pressure tactic to force Mehbooba to give in. Her sticking to the ground has send out a signal to many who tried to internally “blackmail” after their resignations.
Soon after the resignations, a PDP legislator and a former minister Abdul Majeed Padder issued a veiled threat to the party claiming his workers would boycott the upcoming parliamentary polls because he was not inducted into the ministry.
The resignations had upset the PDP as the polls for two of the three parliamentary seats in Kashmir region are being held in the next few months.
Imran’s displeasure, who wields influence among Shias in Srinagar, would impact party prospects in Srinagar.
Mehbooba had tried to pacify him at a meeting her Fairview residence.
Basharat was not available for comment. However, a local news agency quoted him as saying that he discussed many issues with the chief minister.
“Discussed all the issues not the letter citing resignation post reshuffle only but also the communication which I had sent in January and many more related to party affairs and the government as well,” he said.