Kavinder Gupta sworn in as J&K Deputy CM

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Kavinder Gupta

Jammu & Kashmir Assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta including seven others were sworn in as the ministers in the state’s PDP-BJP coalition government led by Mehbooba Mufti on Monday.

The new deputy chief minister Mr. Gupta will replace Nirmal Singh who submitted his resignation last night, officials said.

The new BJP faces sworn in as ministers were the party’s state unit chief Satpal Sharma and the legislators from Kathua and adjoining Sambha, Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal, respectively.

The BJP also upgraded Sunil Sharma, at present minister of state for transport, to the rank of a cabinet minister. BJP legislator Shakti Raj took oath as a minister of state.

The PDP members included in the cabinet were Mohd Khalil Band, MLA from Pulwama, and Mohd Ashraf Mir, a legislator from Sonwar.

The BJP has dropped Nirmal Singh, Health Minister Bali Bhagat and Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism Priya Sethi.

Their resignations have been accepted along with that of Law Minister Abdul Haq Khan by Governor NN Vohra, an official said, adding that Sunil Sharma, who was upgraded as the cabinet minister, also resigned as MoS.

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and MoS in the PMO Jitendra Singh attended the event held at the convention center.

Earlier on April 17, the BJP had asked all its nine ministers in the PDP-BJP government in the state to send their resignations to enable bringing in new faces in the two-year-old Mufti cabinet.

The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the chief minister, out of which 14 portfolios are with the PDP and the remaining with the BJP.

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