The swearing-in-ceremony of the new Jammu and Kashmir government has been delayed over the differences in the distribution of cabinet portfolios as the BJP insists on having equal representation in the important ministries.
Sources in BJP told TY News that some modalities are being discussed between the two parties and oath ceremony is expected to take place in the first week of April.
A BJP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said:
“We are discussing everything, so that tomorrow we don’t face problems in running the government. We don’t have differences on anything. We are settling things for better tomorrow.”
The state has been under Governor’s rule since January 8 following the death of chief minister and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
During the Mufti’s chief ministership, the ruling PDP had 10 cabinet ministers while BJP had eight. The BJP, in fact, had only six ministers but, managed to get two ministers of state elevated to cabinet ministers.
However,PDP sources claimed that there are serious differences between the two parties on the distribution of ministries.
They said that BJP is in no mood of bargaining and is insisting on some important portfolios. But, talks are going between the two parties and oath-taking ceremony will take place once all issues are resolved, added sources.
After the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the PDP’s MLA count is down to 27 from 28 in the 87-member assembly house. The BJP has 28 MLAs, including two from Sajjad Lone’s Peoples Conference and one independent candidate.
Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of J&K, questioned the delay in the oath-taking-ceremony. He tweeted:
Would anyone from the PDP or BJP care to inform the people of J&K why the date for the oath taking can’t be announced now? What’s the delay?
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 26, 2016