Kashmiris Dominate In New Ministry
2 November 2005
Jammu: While no woman has found a place in the new ministry, the Kashmir valley with seven ministers continues to dominate the 13-member council of ministers constituted today by Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad. Including Mr Azad, there are four ministers from Jammu and two from Ladakh in the new ministry. The districts of Udhampur, Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu division and Kupwara and Pulwama in the valley remain unrepresented in the ministry. Except Mr Azad himself and two other ministers, Mr Tariq Hameed Qarra and Mr Gulchain Singh Charak, all the 10 others, are old faces of the Mufti regime. No representation has been given to the Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh communities. The only Kashmiri Pandit MLA, Mr Raman Mattoo, who was a minister in the Mufti's ministry, has not found any place this time. No Sikh was in the previous ministry also. What has come as a surprise was acceptance of a ministerial berth by Mr Mangat Ram Sharma in the Azad ministry, although he was Deputy Chief Minister till this afternoon in the Mufti government. Mr Ghulam Hassan Mir, a close confident of the Mufti and a founder member of the PDP, who was tourism minister, has not been included in the new ministry. He was aspirant for the post of Deputy Chief Minister. The principle of one man-one post has again been deviated by inducting Peerzada Sayeed, PCC chief, in the ministry. The Ladakh region has got complete representation as one minister each from Leh and Kargil districts, Mr Nawang Rigzin Zora and Haji Nissar, have been given a cabinet berth. Mr Azad has made an exception by inducting Mr Gulchain Singh Charak in the ministry. He is a member of the upper house and not an MLA. The Jammu district was a sufferer in the new ministry as against three ministers earlier; it has got only one in the new ministry. The Panthers Party has been kept out of the new ministry.