Portfolio allotment causes heartburns in Kashmir

Jammu, Dec 14 (IANS) The announcement of portfolios of the newly inducted Deputy Chief Minister Muzzaffar Hussain Baig has caused heartburns to some of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ministers of the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, PDP sources said Friday.

Late Thursday evening, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had formally allocated planning, tourism and law and parliamentary affairs to Baig, restoring three out of the four portfolios he had held before he was stripped of the ministry by his party leadership in August last year.

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The sources said the move has angered Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra, Public Health Minister Dillawar Mir and Housing and Urban Development Minister Qazi Mohammad Afzal who say the chief minister has violated the agreement reached between him and the PDP patron Mufti Sayeed Dec 8.

As per the agreement, Baig was to be inducted into the ministry but his duty allocation was to be announced along with changes in other ministers’ portfolios.

In the reshuffle, Karra was to get the portfolio of housing and urban development along with finance while forest department was to go to Afzal.

Mir has also protested the selective allotment of the portfolios. PDP sources say that Mufti Sayeed might take up the issue with the chief minister on Friday.