After Ministry, PDP-BJP to revamp CC, CSCs, DDBs

Process to be finalized after re-opening of Sectt

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, May 3: After rejig in the Council of Ministry, the PDP-BJP Government is all set to revamp the Coordination Committee, five Cabinet Sub Committees (CSCs) and six District Development Boards (DDBs). Discussions between the two coalition partners have already been initiated and the process was likely to be completed after re-opening of the Civil Secretariat in Srinagar on May 7.
Sources in the two Alliance partners told the Excelsior that the Coordination Committee, which was headed by former Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, is being revamped and new Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta could head it since there was agreement between the PDP and the BJP that the former will hold post of the Chief Minister for six years and latter the chairmanship of the Coordination Committee for similar period.
“The Coordination Committee was revamped in November, 2017 before it met on November 21 with both PDP and BJP changing some of the members. Possibility of more changes at the level of members by the two parties at the time of revamp of the CC is also not ruled out,’’ sources said, noting that the PDP could adjust former Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Abdul Haq Khan in the Committee to compensate him for removal from the Ministry besides giving him a significant post in the party.
The Coordination Committee presently comprised Dr Nirmal Singh, chairman, Jugal Kishore, Lok Sabha member from Jammu-Poonch, Shamsher Singh Manhas, Rajya Sabha member and Dr Narinder Singh, general secretary, all BJP, Abdul Rehman Veeri, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister, Sartaj Madni, vice president, Dilawar Mir, former Minister and Tarlok Singh Bajwa, former Rajya Sabha member, all PDP.
Purpose of the Committee is to advise the Government on any kind of issues including development, smooth governance and perfect coordination between PDP and BJP at the Government level since the two parties had formed the coalition for the first time.
Sources said five Cabinet Sub Committees (CSCs) would also be revamped as they were headed by Dr Nirmal Singh and comprised four outgoing Cabinet Ministers—Bali Bhagat, Choudhary Lal Singh, Chander Prakash Ganga (all BJP) and Abdul Haq Khan of PDP as their members.
They included the all powerful CSC on implementation of ‘Agenda of Alliance‘(AoA), which was reached between PDP and BJP at the time of formation of the Alliance Government. Other CSCs included on SRO 43, Power Projects, Rohingyas etc.
Among the Cabinet Sub Committees, the CSC on ‘Implementation of AoA’ is more significant, sources said, adding the CSC had assigned the task to bureaucrats to identify and suggest steps on implementation of the issues, which pertained to the administration. After their report is received, the CSC on AoA would finalize its report and submit recommendations.
Meanwhile, six District Development Boards (DDBs) have become headless with the resignations of five Cabinet Ministers including the former Deputy Chief Minister.
Dr Nirmal Singh was heading two DDBs of Jammu and Samba while Bali Bhagat was chairman of Kishtwar DDB, Chander Prakash Ganga of Budgam, Choudhary Lal Singh of Udhampur and Abdul Haq Khan of Kulgam.
In the recent reshuffle, six new Cabinet Ministers have been inducted including Kavinder Gupta, DyCM, Sunil Sharma, Rajiv Jasrotia, Devender Manyal, all BJP, Mohammad Khalil Band and Mohammad Ashraf Mir, both PDP.
Sources said each of the new Cabinet Ministers could head one of the DDB. However, if Kavinder Gupta, who is set to become new chairman of Jammu DDB, get the charge of two Development Boards like his predecessor, Dr Nirmal Singh, the Government could take back one Board from Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister, Abdul Rehman Veeri to allocate it to another Minister.
Veeri also heads two District Development Boards of Baramulla and Shopian. Tourism Minister Tassaduq Mufti, brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, hasn’t been allocated any DDB.
There are now 21 Cabinet Ministers including the Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir. Mehbooba heads Srinagar DDB. Number of total DDBs in the State is 20—10 each in Jammu and Kashmir regions. Two districts of Ladakh region including Leh and Kargil don’t have the DDBs as they have Autonomous Hill Development Councils, which are elected bodies.