Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday hinted that his daughter Mehbooba Mufti could take over as chief minister of the state. Mehbooba is a Member of Parliament and president of People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Leaders close to the Mufti family, however, said that it could still take months before Mehbooba will be asked to take over as the CM.
Speculations have been rife recently that in the third week of November, Mehbooba Mufti will take oath as chief minister as Mufti wants her to take over the reins of the state.
Sources said that idea was discussed with coalition partner BJP and they were not averse to this.
The CM on Friday in a press conference hinted that his daughter could replace him as chief minister of the state. “It’s a democratic process. Mehbooba has been working in the field as party president and represented an assembly constituency and currently represents a seat in Lok Sabha, so she deserves this,” said CM Mufti.
There have been strong indications from past many months that Mehbooba will take over the reins of government due to age and health issues of Mufti Sayeed.
Senior PDP leaders who are close to Mufti said that it could still take months before Mehbooba would become chief minister of the state. “It is an idea and the party leadership is seriously thinking about. Though, time has come but it will not be as soon and could take some months,’’ the PDP leader told The Indian Express.
The approval from Mufti about his daughter as the next chief minister has come at a time when the PDP is facing revolt from two of its founding members and parliament members – Muzuffar Hussain Baig and Tariq Hamid Qarra. Both these leaders skipped the rally of PM Narendra Modi in Srinagar and spoke against the party leadership for its alliance with the BJP.
Baig, who represents Baramulla constituency in Lok Sabha, was the first to initiate dialogue with the BJP leadership soon after assembly elections ended last year. Baig was expecting a berth in the Union Cabinet, but he was sidelined by the PDP leadership soon after the formation of the new government. Qarra, who was also expecting a slot in the Union Ministry, was sidelined after the formation of government.
PDP chief spokesman, Mehboob Baig said that since the inception of PDP, Mehbooba Mufti had played pivotal role in the party. “She has worked hard and is capable of taking over any challenge,’’ he said, adding that since chief minister has not given any time frame it could still take months.
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