Mehbooba to take oath as first woman CM of J&K today

Srinagar (DHNS): With PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti set to take oath as first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, uncertainty still remains over council of ministers.

The 57-year-old Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief, who will replace her father late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, as 13th chief minister of politically sensitive state, hasn’t given any indications yet as who will be the ministers to take oath in her government.

A senior PDP leader said Mehbooba has not yet given any hint as to who will be in her team that will be sworn in on Monday.

There were 25 ministers in erstwhile PDP-BJP government led by Mufti and according to sources some of them might be shown the door in the new formation.

On Saturday former PWD minister and senior PDP leader Altaf Bukhari told his workers that he will not be part of the new Cabinet, giving credence to reports suggesting the PDP may not repeat the previous ministerial team.

Bukhari’s expulsion is being seen as Mehbooba first decision to send out a strong message to his senior party leaders that she will not be bowed down.

The firebrand PDP chief is battling pressures both within the party and from alliance partner BJP, which has been seeking an equal share in the portfolios in the government.

The internal pressure, which reportedly had been built by a group of legislators, including Bukhari, was aimed at pushing her into forming the government with the BJP without waiting for confidence building measures and concessions she had been demanding from the Central government led by the BJP. Ultimately, she decided to form the government without the concessions to keep her flock together.

Meanwhile, a day ahead of swearing-in ceremony tight security has been put in place around the venue where oath ceremony is scheduled.

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