J&K ministers step down to pave way for new faces

After days of speculation, Jammu and Kashmir cabinet will be expanded and reshuffled on Tuesday with the Governor House formally having issued invitation cards for the oath ceremony to be held at 4 pm.

Speculation is rife that some of the senior National Conference ministers might not find their place again in the new cabinet as they would most likely be entrusted the party affairs.
Political advisor to chief minster Davinder Singh Rana confirmed that all the NC ministers including chairmen of various boards and the advisors submitted their resignations to the chief minister this afternoon to pave way for the expansion and reshuffle.

“Yes, we all have submitted our resignations. Let the party high command be free to take a decision on the cabinet expansion,” Rana was quoted by a local news agency as saying.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah has convened a special dinner for all his cabinet colleagues on Monday evening where the expansion and reshuffle was likely to take a final shape.

If sources are to be believed, Speaker of the legislative Assembly Mohamamd Akbar Lone who was reportedly flown to Jammu from Srinagar on Monday evening in state helicopter has also been asked to step down and would most likely be given a berth in cabinet.

Meanwhile, several of the ministers and MLAs of collation partner Congress are camping in New Delhi and are reportedly roaming in the high command quarters to get the last minute favours.

Sources said the portfolios of almost all the ministers who would stay back in the cabinet would be reshuffled. Omar would form a cabinet of full strength with 25 ministers this time around, they added.

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