Strengthening coalition in J

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Jammu, Dec 10 (UNI) Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig today took the oath of allegiance as the Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, keeping the strengthening of ties between the coalition partners in the state on the top of his priority list.

Talking to newspersons after the swearing in ceremony at the Governor's House here, Mr Baig said the coming year would be a year of developing relations and bridging the gaps between coalition partners as state is scheduled to witness assembly elections next year.

Looking at the current political scenario in the state, he said, ''Better planning policies for the state will remain on my agenda.'' Disclosing that an employment policy will be framed under the planning policy of the state in the next year, he said: ''I am hopeful that some of the pending commitments will also be fulfilled in one year.'' With the reinduction of the PDP leader, the strength of the Council of Ministers in the Congress-led state coalition government has risen to 22 and number of Cabinet Ministers to 14.

Mr Baig represents Baramulla assembly constituency and was having the Finance, Planning and Law portfolios till he resigned on September 3, 2006.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the ministerial portfolios would be reshuffred after after the December 12 by-election of Poonch-Haveli assembly constituency.


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