Controversies over cabinet portfolios are stalling the swearing-in of the new Jammu and Kashmir government as the BJP insists on equal representation in important ministries, many of which are held by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), reports said on Tuesday.
The BJP feels that it is now in a strong place to bargain from given the Modi government’s ‘strong’ posturing on not ‘succumbing’ to the demands of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, who will be the new chief minister.
“The swearing-in will not happen this month for sure. Some important portfolios are to be discussed with possible re-shaping of the allocation of portfolios,” quoting BJP sources agencies reported.
The state has been under Governor’s rule since January 8 following the death of chief minister and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. During his 10-month tenure, the ruling PDP had 10 cabinet ministers while its coalition partner, the BJP, had eight. The BJP in fact had only six ministers initially, but managed to get two Ministers of State elevated to cabinet ministers.
In its present negotiations, the BJP is demanding an extra cabinet berth to be on a par with the PDP which has the chief ministerial chair, reports added.(Agencies)