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J&K Dy CM Baig removed from post

PDP spokesperson Basharat Bukhari says Muzaffar Baig has been removed because the party lost faith in him.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2006 13:23 IST

Barely a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad announced the portfolios of his council of ministers, the Peoples Democatic Party-Congress government has plunged into a crisis.

According to a news channel, PDP leader Muzaffar Baig has been removed from the deputy CM post as well as that of legislature party leader by his own party.

Earlier, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, had come out in his support and refused to remove him leading to a flashpoint with his coalition partners.

With the removal of Baig and Azad being snubbed over his decision to retain Baig as Finance and Law Minister cracks in the PDP-Congress coalition have widened.

The PDP says Baig was removed because they lost faith in him.

"Party has lost faith," said Basharat Bukhari, PDP, spokesperson.

Abdul Aziz Zargar, the Agriculture Minister, has emerged as the dark horse nominated as the new PDP legislative party leader.

Zargar is also tipped to be PDP's nominee as Deputy CM. But sources say the Congress is unlikely to accept him as Deputy Chief Minister because of his controversial past.

Terror link allegations

In 2003, LeT militants allegedly used his ancestral home before the attack on the Akshardham temple.

Zargar offered to resign soon after but then CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed refused did not accept his resignation.

The PDP is accusing Azad of violating coalition dharma by retaining Baig as Finance and Law Minister despite the PDP's decision to strip him of his portfolios.

But Congress sources point out that portfolio distribution is solely the prerogative of the CM and cite the cabinet reshuffle by PDP leader and former CM Mufti Mohd Sayeed in 2003.

First Published: Sep 01, 2006 10:19 IST