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Omar Abdullah expands J&K cabinet

July 11, 2009 18:57 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday expanded his cabinet by inducting 13 new ministers. This has taken the total strength of the National Conference-Congress coalition ministry from 11 to 22.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra administered the oath of office to Qamar Ali Akhoon, Rajinder Singh Chib, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Sakina Itoo, Raman Bhalla, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori, Abdul Gani Malik and Agha Syed Ruhullah, all cabinet ministers, and Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Dr Manohar Lal, Shabir Ahmad Khan, Nasir Aslam Wani and Javed Ahmad Dar, all ministers of state.

The coalition government headed by Omar Abdullah was formed in January this year after the state elections were held in December 2008.

The government was formed by National Conference, which won 28 seats, and the Congress, which won 17 seats, in the 87-member state legislature. 

Four members from National Conference and five members from the Congress were inducted into the cabinet headed by Omar Abdullah on January 5.
 
Saturday's expansion has ended months of uncertainty about the expansion of the state cabinet that had resulted in the chief minister holding as many as 22 portfolios himself.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar