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Mehbooba Mufti to Carry the Legacy of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

January 7, 2016

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the founding member of J&K People’s Democratic Party (PDP), passed away on 7 January 2016 at the age of 79. He was the 12th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He became the unanimous choice for the CM’s post after the PDP and the BJP agreed to form a coalition government.

Mehbooba Mufit, the Rightful Successor of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

Highs & Lows in Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s Political Journey

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed started his political career in the late 1950s when he joined the Democratic National Conference (DNC). In 1962, Sayeed was elected from Bijbehara to the state legislative assembly. He retained this seat in the succeeding elections. Eventually, Sayeed fell out with the DNC and joined the Indian National Congress (INC). He became a cabinet minister in the Congress government in 1972.

Sayeed’s political career saw a steep decline when he lost two consecutive elections. However, being a masterful politician and skillful administrator, he managed to uproot the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) government in 1984. His association with the Congress ended in 1987 when he joined the Jan Morcha. He went on to become the Union Home Minister in 1989.

Although he rejoined the Congress, it didn’t take him long to part ways with the party (1999). He went on to form his own party, the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (JKPDP), in the same year. After its formation, his political career reached new heights. In 2002, Sayeed became J&K’s Chief Minister.

In the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, PDP won three parliamentary seats and 28 assembly seats of the state – the most by any party in the elections. The party formed government by allying with the BJP. Sayeed headed the PDP-BJP alliance in a politically mature and deft manner. With his passing away, the stage is now set for his daughter, Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed, to take the reins and give J&K its first female chief minister.

Sayeed’s Endorsement of Mehbooba Mufti as a Deserving Candidate to be the CM

It would have been undoubtedly better if the PDP patron had supervised this transition of power in person. Nonetheless, Mehbooba Mufti is deemed to be the most suitable person to take over as the CM of Jammu & Kashmir right now. In fact, her father had avowed himself, before taking ill, that Mehbooba would be his rightful successor. Mehbooba, he had said, is a grassroots leader and the PDP owed its wins to her. He believed that his daughter has better connect with the people and deserves to be the chief minister of J&K.

Challenges Before Mehbooba Mufti if She Becomes the CM

Evidently, Mehbooba Mufti has some tough challenges ahead. Topmost among them are checking indiscipline within the party, placating her coalition partners and also dealing with the threat of increased militant activity. The first few months may turn out to be tricky for Mehbooba. However, this politician has matured a lot over the years.

It is expected that Mehbooba would be able to iron the creases and emerge as one of the most important female figures in the affairs of Kashmir as well as India. As the J&K Assembly’s budget session is slated to begin on January 18, 2016, the PDP government needs Mehbooba to take over, and fast.

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