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J&K Cabinet expansion likely tomorrow

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to expand his Council of Ministers on Tuesday.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 19:41 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is likely to expand his Council of Ministers on Tuesday.

Azad called on Governor SK Sinha at Raj Bhavan on Monday afternoon and discussed the Cabinet expansion during an hour-long meeting, officials said on Monday.

They said the oath-taking ceremony for the new inductees was likely to be held on Tuesday.

The chief minister was keen on restricting the size of the ministry but pressure from coalition partners and within his Congress would see another 10 ministers being inducted in the council, they said.

Congress and People's Democratic Party, the two major coalition partners, were expected to get the bulk of the berths while smaller partners like the Panthers' Party might also get representation, they said.

At the time of taking over the reins of the state in November last year, Azad inducted only 12 ministers—10 of Cabinet rank and two Ministers of State with Independent charge.

Following the passage of a bill limiting the number of ministers to 20 per cent of the combined strength of the two Houses of the Legislature, the size of the ministry in the state can be up to 25.