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April 24, 2018
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Mehbooba’s brother joins J&K CabinetTassaduq Mufti gets charge of Tourism; Chief Minister reshuffles many portfolios

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday added two members to her Cabinet, which now includes her cinematographer-turned-politician brother Tassaduq Mufti.

Mr. Mufti, 45, was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister by Governor N.N. Vohra at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu. He has been given the Tourism portfolio. The other PDP leader to join the Cabinet is Javaid Mustafa Mir, an MLA from Chadoora in central Kashmir, was given the portfolios of Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction and Floriculture.

In a reshuffle, Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri was given additional portfolio of Haj and Auqaf, while Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Social Welfare, Health and Medical Education Asiea Naqash was given the additional charge of Power Development, Industries and Commerce.

Minister of State for Forest, Environment, Animal Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries and Cooperatives Mir Zahoor Ahmad was given additional charge of Public Health Engineering, Irrigation and Flood Control.

Mr. Mufti is a cinematographer by profession and has worked in Bollywood blockbusters such as Omkara and Kaminey before moving to Los Angeles in early 2000. He shifted his base to Bangalore immediately after the 9/11 attack in the U.S.

On the first death anniversary of his father, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, on January 7, announced his decision to join the PDP. He was fielded as a candidate for the Anantnag Lok Shabha by-election, which was cancelled over the uncertain situation in April. In May, Ms. Mufti appointed him coordinator of the J&K Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell.

Facing criticism from Opposition parties in J&K over “relatives joining the Cabinet”, Mr. Mufti’s uncle Farooq Andrabi had resigned from his ministerial berth on December 21.

National Conference provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani said: “The inclusion of the CM’s brother in the Cabinet is a cruel joke with the people of the State suffering with each passing day due to the political and administrative failures of the PDP-BJP government led by Ms. Mufti.”

He said the PDP was guided by the “singular goal of seeking political power while being bereft of any ideological convictions.”

“Mr. Mufti ran away from the Anantnag elections and now he has run away from the CM’s grievance cell,” he added.