After several days of speculation, the state cabinet will finally be expanded on Tuesday with the Governor house formally having issued invitation cards for the oath ceremony to be held at 4 pm on Tuesday.
Meanwhile all the ministers from the ruling National Conference have tendered their resignation to the party high command ahead of their crucial dinner meet at Chief Minster’s residency road residence at Jammu on Monday evening.
Speculations are rife that some senior ministers might not find their place again in the new cabinet as they would be likely entrusted to the party affairs.
Political Advisor to Chief Minster, Davinder Singh Rana confirmed to KNS that all the party ministers including the deputy ministers, chairmen of various boards and the advisors to CM have submitted their resignation to CM this afternoon in order to pave way for the party high command to take a decision on the cabinet expansion and reshuffle.
“Yes we have all submitted our resignations. Let the party high command be free to take a decision on the cabinet expansion”, Rana told KNS.
Those who tendered their resignation include Abdul Rahim Rather, Ali Mohamad Sagar, Mian Altaf, Syed Aga Ruhullah, Ab Gani Malik, S S Salathia , Sakeena Itoo, Qamer Ali Akhoon, Nasir Aslam Wani, Javid Ahmad Dar, Davinder Singh Rana, Mubark Gul, Syed Mushtaq Ahmad Bukhari, Shamima Firdous, Rachpal Singh, Javid Ahmad Dar. Pertinently, Sagar is believed to have tendered his resignation on Saturday evening itself.
It is believed that the National Conference is likely to leave out some senior cabinet ministers and entrust them with the party affairs in wake of the upcoming elections. It is also likely that the Chief Minister would fill up all the 25 vacancies in the state cabinet, giving all the ministers a cabinet rank.
Sources within NC also told KNS, that Senior leaders like Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan was a strong probable for the speakers post, whereas 3 time MLA, Mir Saifullah may also get a berth in the new Cabinet.
Chief Minster Omar Abdullah has convened a special diner 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 the speaker of the legislative assembly Mohamamd Akbar Lone who was reportedly flown to Jammu from Srinagar on Monday evening in state chopper has also been asked to step down and would be most likely given a berth in cabinet.
Meanwhile Congress camp has been also abuzz with political fever gearing up every hour. Most of the ministers and MLA’s are camping in the winter capital where a few are reportedly roaming in the high command quarters in New Delhi to get the last minute favors. Sources within the party told KNS that some new faces including Viqar Rasool, G.A Mir, Ab. Majeed Wani were among the probable’s whereas former Minster G.M Saroori was also in the race.
According to party sources, the portfolios of almost all the ministers who would stay back in the cabinet could be reshuffled. They added that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah would form a cabinet of full strength with 25 ministers this time around and it was likely that all the ministers would be asked to perform satisfactorily and keep their image clean, in view of 2014 elections.
Interestingly, the civil secretariat wore a deserted look on Monday as almost all the ministers, except for Agriculture Minister Gulam Hassan Mir, were absent from their offices. It is understandable in wake of the reshuffle that they would be lobbying for portfolios in the cabinet in formation, said a senior officer in the civil secretariat.