Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Thursday inducted her younger brother, Tassaduq Mufti, and Chadoora MLA Javaid Mustafa Mir into her cabinet.
Governor N N Vohra administered the oath to the legislators at Raj Bhavan. It was the second expansion of the council of ministers since Mehbooba Mufti formed the government in the state with the BJP.
Later in the day, the Chief Minister allotted portfolios to the newly inducted ministers.
An order, issued said that Tasaduq Mufti was allotted Tourism ministry, while as Javaid Mustafa Mir who was also inducted into the cabinet was given the portfolios of Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction and Floriculture.
Notably, Abdul Rehman Veeri who was already holding the Revenue ministry was given additional portfolios of Parliamentary affairs and Hajj and Auqaf.
The CM also announced some additional responsibilities for minister of state Asiya Naqash. Asiya will now be handling Housing, Urban Development, Social Welfare, Health and Medical Education, Power Development and Industries and Commerce.
Besides, another Junior Minister, Zahoor Ahmad Mir has been allotted Forest, Ecology and Environment, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, PHE. Irrigation and Flood Control.
Earlier in the day, Tassaduq and Mir took oath of office and secrecy as ministers.
Tassaduq Mufti, 45, previously served as the head of Mehbooba Mufti’s grievance cell. He returned to the state’s politics after their father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died in 2016.
A noted cinematographer, Tassaduq Mufti joined the PDP at a gathering organised to commemorate his father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s first death anniversary on January 7 this year.
On December 22, he was nominated by the governor as a member of the state legislative council to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Vikramaditya Singh, who resigned from the PDP on October 22.
He is expected to get the tourism portfolio.
“I will work hard for peace, progress and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir. My focus will infuse life in the tourism sector in J&K,” Tassaduq told reporters here.
Javed Mustafa Mir, an MLA from the Chadoora Assembly constituency, is a two-time minister.
He was a minister of state in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government in 2002 and a cabinet minister under him in 2015.
Mir, however, was dropped from the council of ministers when Mehbooba Mufti took over as chief minister in April 2016.
The BJP, a coalition partner in the ruling alliance in the state, welcomed the minor expansion of the cabinet.
BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the expansion will give thrust to the council of ministers.
But the Congress party questioned BJP’s silence over Tassaduq Mufti’s induction. Its state chief G A Mir said the saffron party had made dynasty rule an issue in its election campaigns but it was now “keeping its eyes closed.”
The PDP appeared to discourage any suggestion of differences withing the party over the induction of Tassaduq Mufti.
Naeem Akhtar, the minister for roads and buildings, said his entry will infuse young blood into the party and the government.
On December 22, when Tassaduq was nominated as a member of the state legislative council, then minister of state for Haj and Auquaf, Syed Farooq Andrabi, had resigned from the council of ministers, citing “personal reasons”.
Andrabi had submitted his resignation to his niece Mehbooba Mufti and it was forwarded to the governor, who accepted it.