Jammu & Kashmir Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta resigned from his position on Sunday and today he was sworn-in as the new Deputy CM, thereby replacing Nirmal Singh. This change is a part of a major cabinet reshuffle under which some new faces like Rajiv Jasrotia (Kathua MLA) and Devinder Kumar Manyal (Sambha MLA) have been added.
Other than these, there have been many more changes like PDP now has Mohd Khalil Band (Pulwama MLA) and Mohd Ashraf Mir (Sonwar MLA) as Cabinet Ministers. Besides, BJP has a new addition with Sat Sharma as the State Unit Chief and the Minister of State for Transport Sunil Sharma has been upgraded to the rank of a Cabinet Minister.
Back on April 17, the Saffron Party had asked all the nine ministers in the PDP-BJP govt to resign so as to introduce fresh faces in the two-year-old government led by CM Mehbooba Mufti. This move was made soon after two BJP ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga had to resign over their stand for the accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year old Kathua girl.
The function took place at the Convention Centre and not at the Raj Bhavan as the state has shifted its base to summer capital Srinagar. The oath ceremony was administered by Governor NN Vohra. While BJP is inducting 6 MLAs as Ministers, PDP is inducting two legislators.
As per the sources, Kavidner Gupta’s name was finalized at a meeting in New Delhi that was chaired by BJP President Amit Shah. Although the cabinet reshuffle is being touted as a consequence of the serious issues going on in the state, Union Minister Jitendra Singh has made it clear that it’s just a normal thing to take place in a democratic setup.