Photo of Kavinder Gupta taking oath (Courtesy: ANI)
Jammu and Kashmir Assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta and seven others were on Monday sworn in as ministers in the state's PDP-BJP government led by Mehbooba Mufti.
Gupta will be the new deputy chief minister in place of Nirmal Singh, who submitted his resignation last night, officials said.
The reshuffle is the result of BJP ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga resigning from the cabinet earlier this month after they were criticised for taking part in a rally in support of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
The new BJP faces sworn in as ministers were the party's state unit chief Satpal Sharma and the MLAs from Kathua and adjoining Sambha, Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal, respectively.
Besides this, J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who backed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Kathua rape and murder case, tendered his resignation from the PDP-BJP government ahead of the cabinet reshuffle on Monday.
"I have resigned as the Deputy Chief Minister of the government. A fresh face from the BJP will be taking over," Singh said after tendering his resignation.
Singh, who shares a good equation with CM Mufti, had supported her decision to stick to a probe by the Crime Branch in the Kathua case, while most of the BJP leaders were demanding a CBI probe.
Here are the highlights on Jammu and Kashmir cabinet reshuffle:
# 12:15 PM: BJP Kathua MLA Rajeev Jasrotia and PDP Pulwama MLA Mohammad Khalil Bandh take oath as ministers in Jammu and Kashmir Government.
Jammu: BJP Kathua MLA Rajeev Jasrotia(left pic) and PDP Pulwama MLA Mohammad Khalil Bandh(right pic) take oath as ministers in Jammu and Kashmir Government. #cabinetreshuffle pic.twitter.com/J114PPhqK9— ANI (@ANI) April 30, 2018
#12:00 PM: Jammu: Gandhinagar MLA Kavinder Gupta takes oath as minister in Jammu and Kashmir Government. He replaces Nirmal Singh as Deputy Chief Minister of the State
Jammu: Gandhinagar MLA Kavinder Gupta takes oath as minister in Jammu and Kashmir Government. He replaces Dr.Nirmal Singh as Deputy Chief Minister of the State pic.twitter.com/8eHsu2by9h— ANI (@ANI) April 30, 2018
# 11:30 AM: Reshuffle has nothing to do with the Kathua Rape incident: The cabinet reshuffle has nothing to do with the Kathua incident. Our government has completed three years and we decided to give a chance to new faces. 5 members of the party will be sworn-in as ministers today: Ram Madhav
#10:30 AM: Cabinet reshuffle takes place depending on circumstances of the past & present & also taking cognizance of the challenges that lie ahead in the future. This is a very normal thing in any democratic setup: Union Minister Jitendra Singh
Cabinet reshuffle takes place depending on circumstances of the past & present & also taking cognizance of the challenges that lie ahead in the future. This is a very normal thing in any democratic setup: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on the cabinet reshuffle in #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/O7zE9RXwgz— ANI (@ANI) April 30, 2018
# 09:15 AM: BJP state unit chief Sat Sharma and Kathua MLA Rajiv Jasrotia will be inducted as Cabinet ministers. Sat Sharma was the one who allegedely sent Chander Prakash and Choudhary Lal Singh to attend the Kathua rally organised in support of the 8-year-old girl's rape accused.
#09:00 AM: Kavinder Gupta to be sworn-in as Deputy Chief Minister and Mohd Khalil Band, Sat Paul Sharma, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Sunil Kumar Sharma, Rajiv Jasrotia, Devinder Kumar Manyal and Shakti Raj to be sworn-in as ministers for the state.