Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday took oath as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in a ceremony that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Amit Shah.
While the PDP has eleven Cabinet Ministers, including Mr. Sayeed himself, the BJP has six, including separatist-turned mainstream politician Sajjad Lone.
The alliance, which has been termed by Mr. Sayeed as meeting of “North Pole and South Pole”, saw senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh being sworn in as a Minister, a historic day for the saffron party in the State as it became part of the government for the first time. He will be the Deputy Chief Minister of the PDP-BJP alliance government.
This is the second time Mr. Sayeed will be heading a coalition government. In 2002, he led a PDP-Congress alliance and was Chief Minister for three years.
Among others who took oath as Ministers were Abdul Rehman Veeri, Haseeb Drabu, Naeem Akhtar, Basharat Bukhari (all PDP), Lal Singh, Chander Prakash, Sukhnandan Chowdhury and Bali Bhagat (BJP). Priya Sethi (BJP) and Aasiya Naqqash (PDP) were the two women legislators taking oath as Ministers.
BJP and PDP, which have been in negotiations for nearly two months now, have ironed out all the differences over contentious issues including Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, resettlement of West Pakistan Refugees and holding talks with Pakistan and separatist leaders of the state.