JAMMU, Apr 30: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti tonight assigned portfolios to newly inducted eight Ministers and also effected changes in the Departments of some of the incumbent Ministers making Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari as full-time Finance Minister and allocating Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to Abdul Rehman Veeri, which was held by outgoing Minister Abdul Haq Khan.
Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta got Industries and Commerce and Transport Departments, which were earlier held by his party colleagues Chander Prakash Ganga and Sunil Sharma (Independent Charge) respectively.
State BJP president Sat Sharma `CA’ has been allocated Housing and Urban Development while Sunil Sharma, who was today elevated from Minister of State to Cabinet rank, will be the new Power Minister. Both these Departments were held by former Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh.
Rajiv Jasrotia will be the Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, a portfolio held earlier by Choudhary Lal Singh while Dr Devender Kumar Manyal got Health and Medical Education, which was with Bali Bhagat.
PDP’s newly inducted Cabinet Minister Mohammad Khalil Band has been allocated Agriculture Production, which was presently with Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, who will be The Minister for Revenue, whose charge was presently held by Abdul Rehman Veeri.
Veeri will be Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister while Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari will be the Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment and Floriculture.
Sources, however, said that charge of Floriculture was likely to be taken from Bukhari and will be given to newly inducted Minister Mohammad Ashraf Mir, who has been given Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, which was presently with Choudhary Zulfkar.
Zulfkar now will be Minister for School Education, Haj and Auqaf and Tribal Affairs.
Naeem Akhter, the Minister for Works has also been assigned the charge of Culture Department.
Basharat Ahmad Bukhari, who till now was Horticulture Minister, has been assigned Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Departments also while Imran Raza Ansari, Minister for Youth Services, Sports, Information Technology and Technical Education, also got the charge of Higher Education. However, the charge of Youth Services and Sports has been taken away from Ansari and held by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti herself.
Education Department, held by Altaf Bukhari has been split into School Education and Higher Education and assigned to Zulfikar Ali and Imran Raza Ansari respectively.
Newly inducted Minister of State, Shakti Raj Parihar, will hold Education, Tourism, Tribal Affairs, Technical Education, R&B, Rural Development Department, Information, Youth Services & Sports, Revenue and Culture.
Kavinder gets I&C, Tpt; Veeri RDD, Sat H&UDD, Sunil Power, Rajiv Forest