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From CA to MBA to Doctor: Meet the New Faces in the J&K Cabinet

J&K Assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta, and 7 others were sworn in as ministers in the state’s government on 30 April

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Jammu and Kashmir Assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta, state BJP chief Sat Paul Sharma and six others were sworn in as ministers in the state's PDP-BJP government led by Mehbooba Mufti, on 30 April.

J&K Assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta, and 7 others were sworn in as ministers in the state’s government  on 30 April
The list of departments of the new ministers assigned by CM Mehbooba Mufti. Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta will be the Industries & Commerce and Transport Minister.
(Photo: ANI)

The major shake-up of the council of ministers -- including six of the BJP and two of the PDP -- follows BJP ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga resigning from the cabinet earlier this month after they were criticised for taking part in a rally in support of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.

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Kavinder Gupta: The New Deputy CM, an Old RSS Man

Gupta, described as an old RSS hand, will be the new deputy chief minister in place of Nirmal Singh, who submitted his resignation last night, officials said.According to Madhav, the new team led by Gupta would serve the state and the people.

The party has given me the task. I will work with dedication for the people and the state and ensure that the demands and aspirations of the people are fulfilled.
Kavinder Gupta, Deputy Chief Minister, J&K

Gupta, 59, who joined RSS when he was 13 served as mayor of Jammu for three consecutive terms from 2005 to 2010. He was elected as an MLA for the first time in 2014 from Gandhi Nagar constituency and was unanimously elected as speaker of the assembly.

Sat Paul Sharma

Born on 4 August, 1961, in the border town of R S Pura in Jammu district, Sharma completed a B Sc and went on to become a chartered accountant.

I will work for the people and state and will fulfil the demands and their aspirations. Apart from the party, I have been given a task as a minister. I will meet the expectations of the party.
Sat Paul Sharma

Sharma is a general secretary of the Trikuta Samvad Kendra and an executive member of the Ved Mandir Committee among others. Born in a family with RSS background, he jailed during the Emergency. He began his active political career in 1997 with BJP. In 2014, he won from Jammu West constituency by huge margin of 50,629 votes, the highest margin recorded in the history of J&K.

Both Gupta and Sat Paul Sharma were jailed during Emergency.

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Sunil Kumar Sharma

Sunil Kumar Sharma, who was elevated from minister of state to cabinet minister on 30 April, was born on 15 July 1977 in Kishtwar and is a graduate. He worked as secretary in Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP), Kishtwar from 1994 to 1999.

He contested state Assembly elections in 2008 but was unsuccessful. In 2014, he was elected from Kishtwar and inducted in the council of ministers as minister of state for PWD and revenue.

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Shakti Raj Parihar

Born on 18 January 1970, Shakti Raj Parihar, was inducted into the council of ministers on 30 April. After passing his higher secondary, he worked in a French multinational, before starting his own business. He joined BJP in 2008 and contested assembly elections unsuccessfully from Inderwal. In 2014, he got elected from Doda.

Rajiv Jasrotia

Rajiv Jasrotia was born on 26 October 1973, was inducted into state Cabinet on 30 April. He was a student leader. He also became head of the municipal committee of Hiranagar for four years. Presently a state general secretary of the BJP, he was elected as a member of J&K Legislative Assembly from Kathua.

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Devinder Kumar Manyal

Dr Devinder Kumar Manyal, who was also inducted into state cabinet on 30 April, was born on 21 April 1969 in Samba. He studied medicine and has an MBBS degree. He was elected from Samba in 2014.

Mohammad Ashraf Mir

Born on 1 February 1969 in Srinagar, Mohammad Ashraf Mir is an MBA who joined active politics in 2008 under the banner of PDP and contested 2008 Assembly elections unsuccessfully. He remained a member J&K Legislative Council from April 2011 to December 2014. In 2014, he was elected an MLA.

Mohammad Khalil Band

Mohammad Khalil Band, who was born in April 1951, was associated with NC from 1967 till May 2002. He joined PDP in June 2002. He is an MLA from Pulwama.

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