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Jammu, Jun 1 (UNI) Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir has taken premature retirement to join the Congress-led coalition government in the state as a Cabinet Minister tomorrow, sources said here today.

This major development could materialise only after Chief Secretary B R Kundal was assured of his induction into the state Cabinet by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the sources told UNI.

They said Mr Azad had yesterday accepted the resignation of Mr Kundal, who is likely to be inducted into the Cabinet as the in-charge of power department.

Secret parlays between Mr Azad and the Chief Secretary were going on for the last couple of months over latter's joining the Congress and induction into the Ministry.

Mr Kundal, who was due to retire from the services in February next year, is also expected to contest ensuing Assembly elections from R S Pura constituency, the sources said.

Senior most IAS officer and Financial Commissioner (Home) S S Kapur is likely to be appointed as new Chief Secretary of the state before Mr Kundal is sworn-in as Cabinet Minister by Governor Lt Gen (retd) S K Sinha in Srinagar tomorrow, the sources informed.

The state Cabinet would also take some major decisions before the swearing-in ceremony, the sources revealed.

UNI VJ SW VP1145

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