Oath taking ceremony: PDP chooses Jammu for Mehbooba’s coronation


SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has chosen Jammu as the venue for Mehbooba Mufti’s coronation as the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The oath ceremony is slated for Monday, April 4 which a party source said would be a ‘low-key affair’.

Governor. N.N. Vohra on Saturday invited to form and lead the PDP-BJP coalition Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Governor’s invitation to mehbooba Mufti follows the earlier discussions with the PDP and BJP Presidents regarding formation of government in the State and the subsequent communications received from her and Sat Sharma, President, J&K BJP in regard to this matter.

The oath ceremony is scheduled to be held on Monday, the 4th   April, 2016 at 11.00 A.M at the Raj Bhavan, Jammu.

Sources said that there is every likelihood that most of the ministers who were in the cabinet of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will be retained in the new dispensation; however there is also possibility that one or two fresh faces will be inducted in the cabinet and portfolios of some ministers will either be changed or swapped.

BJP’s Nirmal Singh will take oath as the deputy chief minister of the state. On Friday, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav visited Jammu and finalised the list of BJP ministers. Sources said that two to three Union Ministers will attend the oath ceremony that Mehbooba Mufti wanted to be low key affair unlike previous oath ceremony of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed which Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended. 

Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday invited National Conference working president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah to her swearing in ceremony that will be held in Jammu on Monday. 

“Very gracious of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba to phone & invite me to her oath taking ceremony. I look forward to being there on the 4th,’’ Omar Abdullah wrote on twitter. 

Ahead of the party forming the government in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) office bearers have resigned from their posts on Friday to pave way for restructuring of the party. 

The party is being restructured nearly three months after the sudden demise of Mufti Sayeed, who had founded it in 1999 and was its patron when he passed away. 

The date for the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet was decided after deliberations between the leadership of both the parties, they said.

Asked whether there were any differences between the coalition partners which led to the delay in the swearing-in ceremony, the sources said there were no differences but deliberations between alliance partners happen and they take time.

The PDP and the BJP had staked claim for government formation on March 26, two days after Ms. Mehbooba was elected as the PDP’s legislature party leader.

After the death of her father, who headed PDP-BJP coalition government for 10 months from March 1 last year until his death on January 7 this year, Ms. Mehbooba was reluctant to take over as Chief Minister coalition government.

She was seeking assurances from the Central government on implementation of Agenda of Alliance, Common Minimum Programme (CMP) framed by the two parties last year.

Ms. Mehbooba also sought some J&K-specific confidence building measures.

However, her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 22 ended the over two-month-long deadlock on government formation.

Ms. Mehbooba had described her meeting with the Prime Minister as positive, saying she was satisfied.

Meanwhile, police have taken all the steps necessary to ensure the swearing-in ceremony went ahead peacefully. 

Director General of Police (DGP), K. Rajendra Kumar took stock of the security arrangements for the swearing in ceremony of the government, scheduled to be held on April 4, 2016, at a meeting of senior police officers held at Zonal Police Headquarters here this evening.

Rajendra asked the officers to ensure security of the routes leading to Raj Bhawan including airport road and other routes in the city. He said that guest houses, where the VIPs would be staying should also be sanitized by deploying sufficient manpower for their security. He said that safe passage of the VIPs from airport and other routes towards the venue should be            reviewed by the Zonal Officers supervising the security of different areas.


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