People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday took oath as Jammu and Kashmir’s first woman chief minister. She will head a 22-member coalition ministry with the BJP.
Mehbooba Mufti, 56, and now a Lok Sabha member, was sworn in by Governor N.N. Vohra at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar, almost three months after the state came under Governor’s Rule on 8 January.
The People’s Democratic Party has nine cabinet and three junior ministers, including the chief minister, while the BJP has eight cabinet and two junior ministers in the new government. BJP leader Nirmal Singh remains the deputy chief minister. As per Constitution, the Jammu and Kashmir council of ministers cannot have more than 25 members.
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti drove to the civil secretariat in Jammu that houses the offices of the chief minister, ministers and top bureaucrats. There, she was presented a guard of honour by the state armed police in the presence of Director General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar.
The new coalition takes office after three months of political uncertainty after the death on7 January of then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The PDP dropped two cabinet ministers — Altaf Bukhari and Javaid Mustafa Mir and inducted three-time legislator Zahoor Mir. The other new face brought in as a junior minister by the PDP is Farooq Andrabi, who defeated state Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir from Dooru constituency.
The BJP dropped cabinet minister Chaudary Sukhnandan and brought in his place Shyam Lal Chaudhary. The BJP also dropped a junior minister, Pawan Gupta. Ajay Anand, a BJP legislator from Reasi constituency, took oath as a junior minister. He is a fresh entrant.