Kavinder Gupta, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Gandhinagar constituency in Jammu, is the new Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He replaced Nirmal Singh who had resigned on Sunday ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle which was necessitated after the BJP pushed for a major rejig in its ministerial ranks in the Mehbooba Mufti government.
The oath ceremony took place at the Convention Centre instead of the Raj Bhavan.
Among those who took oath include Kavinder Gupta, Sat Pal Sharma, Rajiv Jasrotia, Devinder Manyal and Shakti Raj of the BJP, and Mohammad Khalil Bandh and Ashraf Mir from the PDP.
Meanwhile, Union minister Jitendra Singh said,''Cabinet reshuffle takes place depending on circumstances of the past & present & also taking cognizance of the challenges that lie ahead in the future. This is a very normal thing in any democratic setup.''
One ministerial berth that fell vacant after the dropping of then Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu from the Council of Ministers will not be filled by the ruling party now.
BJP had on April 17 asked all its nine ministers in the PDP-BJP government in the state to submit their resignations to enable bringing in new faces.