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PDP recalls Baigh from J&K Cabinet; Zargar to be new Dy CM

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, Aug 31 (UNI) In a significant development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tonight recalled Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baigh from the state Cabinet and also removed him as the legislature party leader.

Agriculture Minister Abdul Aziz Zargar will be the new PDP leader in the state Assembly. He would also be the new Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, PDP sources told UNI.

This was decided at an emergency meeting of PDP legislators and senior leaders summoned by party chief Mehbooba Mufti at the Gupkar residence of former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed here.

The meeting, which began at 2000 hrs, lasted more than an hour.

The PDP high command has sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Tara Chand informing him that the party had no-confidence in Mr Baigh as the Legislature Party leader and has appointed Mr Zargar in his place, they added.

The sources said another letter has been sent to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad asking him to relieve Mr Baigh as the Cabinet Minister.

Mr Baigh refused to comment on the developments while Mr Azad said he would take a decision in this regard tomorrow.

The sources said the PDP was likely to revoke the suspension of former the Tourism Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir. The move would pave the way for Mr Mir to become the next Deputy Chief Minister, they said, adding he might also get all the portfolios held by Mr Baigh.

In today's allocation, Mr Baigh had retained the important portfolios of Finance, Planning, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, but was divested of Tourism.

However, the sources said the PDP high command, at the meeting, decided to continue with its support to the Congress-led coalition government in the state. The party also decided to continue with its active participation in the coalition government, they added.

The sources said the PDP does not want the state to plunge into a political turmoil or foist the mid-term elections on the people.

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