PDP to induct two more ministers

Jammu, Feb 16 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra will on Friday administer the oath office to two new ministers, including Altaf Bukhari, who returns to the cabinet.

The name of the second minister is not known. The portfolios of some PDP ministers may also be shuffled.

A Raj Bhavan communique said the oath of office and secrecy would be given at 12.30 p.m.

Sources close to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said Bukhari, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLA from Amira Kadal in Srinagar, would be re-inducted into the cabinet.

Bukhari was the Public Work Department Minister in the Mufti Muhammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition government.

After Sayeed’s death, his daughter Mehbooba Mufti did not give Bukhari a ministerial berth. The sources said Bukhari would get an important portfolio.

Another PDP MLA is likely to be sworn in as a junior minister.

The strength of the council of ministers is 23 while the maximum number of ministers in Jammu and Kashmir can be 25.

The state constitution allows for 20 per cent of the total legislators in the bicameral legislature to be in the ministry.

The number of MLAs in the state assembly is 89 while the legislative council or upper house has 36 legislators.