Hours after Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti inducted Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari into the cabinet on Friday, two ministers -- Syed Basharat Bukhari and Imran Raza Ansari -- resigned in protest against the change in their portfolios.
Senior People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Basharat Bukhari confirmed his resignation to a local news agency saying, “I have given the reasons for tendering my resignation to Mehbooba Mufti and she is the best person to explain them.”
Basharat Bukhari, who was the revenue, relief, rehabilitation and disaster management minister, was given the horticulture portfolio after the reshuffle.
Later on Friday night, minister for youth services and sports and technical education Ansari also resigned. Sources said Ansari was annoyed after the reshuffle.
Political pundits see the resignations as a pressure tactic by Basharat Bukhari and Ansari akin to what separatist-turned-politician Sajjad Lone, a minister in the PDP-BJP ruling coalition, did in April 2016.
Lone tendered his resignation to the BJP high command over the allocation of the animal husbandry department. He later went on to become the state science and technology minister.