Srinagar: More than half-a-dozen ministers from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stayed away from the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti saw only three BJP ministers while three PDP ministers were absent.
Apart from Deputy Chief Minister (DyCM) Nirmal Singh, minister for Industries and Commerce Chander Parkash and minister for Animal and Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries Abdul Ghani Kohli were present from the BJP. Among the PDP ministers, minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Abdul Haq Khan, minister for Agriculture Production Ghulam Nabi Lone (Hanjura) and minister for Information Technology Imran Raza Ansari did not attend the meeting.
“Marriages are taking place and they (the ministers) might be busy there. I came to Srinagar only for the cabinet meeting, otherwise I too had to attend a marriage,” Kohli told Kashmir Reader.
Government spokesperson and minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar said, “The ministers were busy with some work, and the cabinet meeting was called at short notice.
“It could be one of the reasons that some ministers couldn’t attend the meeting. We had called the meeting just a night ago,” he said.
Last week most of the ministers of the BJP were seen absent from their offices after rumours about a cabinet reshuffle emerged.
Apart from one or two BJP ministers, the rest remained absent for the entire week, an official in the secretariat said.
Kashmir Reader tried on Tuesday to contact the DyCM and all other ministers who were absent, but most of them did not respond to repeated calls.