Minor reshuffle in portfolios
Jammu: The government on Thursday allotted the tourism ministry to Tassaduq Mufti, the brother of CM Mehbooba Mufti, while PDP legislator Javed Mustafa Mir was given charge of Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, and Floriculture.
The two new ministers were inducted in the government after Governor NN Vohra administered them the oath at Raj Bhavan in Jammu. Senior government functionaries including Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, first lady Usha Vohra, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Kavinder Gupta, Chairman of the Legislative Council, Haji Anayat Ali, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh, ministers and senior government officials were present during the oath-taking ceremony.
The tourism portfolio was held by Mehbooba Mufti herself while Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, and Floriculture was with senior PDP minister Abdul Rehman Veeri.
There was also a reshuffle in the departments, as Abdul Rehman Veeri was given Revenue, Parliamentary & Auqaf while Asiea Naqash was made Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Social Welfare, Health & Medical Education, Power Development and Industries & Commerce. Zahoor Mir was given charge of Forest, Ecology and Environment, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Cooperative, Fisheries and PHE (Public Health Engineering).
Soon after the oath ceremony, Tassaduq said his objective would be to fulfill the dream of his father and former chief minister, the late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. “I will try to fulfill the dreams of my father,” he told reporters here.
“Only time will tell about my contribution in restoring peace in the state. I will work hard for peace, progress and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir. My focus will be to infuse life in the tourism sector in J&K,” said Tassaduq.
He was nominated as member of legislative council (MLC) last week. The vacancy was created after PDP MLC Vikramaditiya Singh, grandson of Dogra king Hari Singh, resigned after the government refused to declare his grandfather’s day as official holiday.
Javed Mustafa Mir, an MLA from the Chadoora Assembly constituency, has twice been minister in the past. He was 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.
Naeem Akhtar, the minister for roads and buildings, said Tasadduq’s entry will infuse young blood into the party and the government.
On December 22, when Tassaduq was nominated as member of the 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.