Speaker, BJP State chief among eight sworn-in as J&K Ministers

Jammu and Kashmir cabinet rejig: Govt brings in new faces

Jammu and Kashmir cabinet rejig: Govt brings in new faces

NC says that Mehbooba failed to act when the BJP ministers from her cabinet participated in the Hindu Ekta Manch rally to protect the perpetrators of the disgusting incident of Kathua and her reaction was only after national outrage.

The cabinet reshuffle is seen by observers as part of a damage control exercise, most prominently by the BJP whose leaders have come under fire from sections supportive of the right accused in the Kathua rape and murder case.

The BJP also upgraded Sunil Sharma, at present minister of state for transport, to the rank of a cabinet minister.

The PDP had credited the chief minister for pressuring its alliance partner to sack the two minister for rallying for the accused in the minor's rape and murder.

In Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district, an eight-year-old girl belonging to a nomadic tribe from a minority community had allegedly been abducted, drugged, gang-raped, tortured and killed in January.

Apart from Kavinder, other new faces inducted into the Mehbooba Mufti cabinet include BJP MLAs from Sambha, Kathua and Doda - Rajiv Jasrotia, Devinder Kumar Manyal and Shakti Raj, respectively. "Besides, as deputy CM, I had to maintain dignity of the post and couldn't squabble even in case of differences", Singh said Terming the reshuffle a "normal exercise", BJP general secretary and in-charge of J&K Ram Madhav said it had nothing to do with the Kathua crime.

After giving in the resignation, Ganga had in fact claimed that the BJP's state party leadership itself had sent the leaders to the rally.

Dressed in kurta-pyjama and an "achkan", fifty-eight-year old Kavinder, who was the J&K Assembly Speaker earlier, was among eight sworn in as ministers in the state government on Monday. Two BJP ministers who attended the event had resigned shortly thereafter, paving the way for the reshuffle.

Opposition National Conference working president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah hit out at the coalition government. Now Supreme Court will decide on the issue, it is not appropriate to raise the issue repeatedly.

The BJP dropped Nirmal Singh from the Deputy CM's position but he is likely to be the new Speaker of the state assembly.

"(This) is something I have been saying from three years. We need to get the girl justice. The ministers, Lal Singh and Chandra Prakash, had to quit early this month. The party said that the elevation denotes the complete surrender of the chief minister.

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