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Omar may throw out ‘tainted’ ministers

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah is likely to reshuffle his cabinet soon to strengthen his control over the government besides getting rid of some tainted ministerial colleagues from both the Congress and the National Conference (NC).

india Updated: Jul 21, 2010 00:21 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah is likely to reshuffle his cabinet soon to strengthen his control over the government besides getting rid of some tainted ministerial colleagues from both the Congress and the National Conference (NC).

Sources said Omar had discussed the issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and also Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his recent visit to Delhi.

For its part, the Congress high command is said to have given its go-ahead to the exercise in which Omar is expected to drop ministers facing corruption charges and induct some fresh faces.

There are also possibilities that a Kashmiri Pandit might be inducted in the Omar government. The community has no representation in the cabinet so far.

A senior Congress functionary said the axe would fall on some ministers from his party as well but refused to divulge the names. The chief minister is reportedly "unhappy" with the functioning of some Congress ministers and had also taken up the matter with the party high command.

From the NC, the chief minister might drop veteran leader and Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather against whom there are allegations of amassing disproportionate assets.

State law minister Ali Mohammed Sagar is the other NC member whose fate hangs in balance. He had criticised the CRPF's "trigger-happy crowd control tactics" for the current unrest in Kashmir and claimed that the force had "gone out of control".