Junior minister asked to look after Qazi's ministry

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Srinagar, Oct 4 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has asked a junior minister to look after the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ministry, earlier held by senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Qazi Mohammad Afzal who resigned in protest after forest portfolio was taken away from him.

An official spokesman said Mr Azad has assigned the charge of HUD to Mr Khan in addition to his own portfolio.

He said Mr Khan would look after the government business related to the HUD till further orders.

Mr Qazi, who defeated National Conference (NC) president and former Union minister from Ganderbal constituency, resigned from the coalition government last month after Mr Azad stripped off his forest portfolio.

However, his resignation was not accepted till date and he was asked to resume his HUD ministry by Mr Azad.

But, Mr Qazi refused to join the ministry untill Chief Minister gave an explanation why the forest ministry was taken away from him.

Mr Afzal, a senior leader of the PDP, a major partner in the Congress led government in the state, said since he has resigned he has nothing to do with the decision of Mr Azad to give charge of HUD to any other minister.

Mr Azad has in a letter to Mr Qazi after his resignation from the cabinet said that forest portfolio was taken away from his because you (Qazi) complained that some senior officers in the forest department were not cooperating with you.

Senior PDP leaders also raised their voice against Mr Azad's decision against Mr Qazi, who was not attending HUD ministry since his resignation.

UNI

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