Mufti Drops Hints About Mehbooba Succeeding Him

JAMMU: Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Friday dropped hints about his daughter and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti taking over from him some time in future, saying it is a “part of democracy”.

“… (about) coming of Mehbooba ji (as chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir) … it is democracy,” Mufti said while replying to a question from a reporter about the buzz in the state that he will pave the way for Mehbooba to be the chief minister in the near future.

“Whether one or another comes, that is the job of the party to decide. That is not an issue as of now,” he added.

There have been reports that some leaders within the party are out to stop the transition of power from the father to daughter.

While dropping the hints, Mufti hailed the role of his daughter in consolidation of the party in the state.

“Really, it is she who is doing the job in the field and I work behind the scene and other areas. Whatever consolidation has come to the party was not because of me. I was not winning. She won from Bijbehara in 1996 (Assembly elections). She has worked for that,” the PDP patron said while interacting with reporters here.

He said while he remained busy with the functioning of the administration, Mehbooba had good liasoning with the masses on ground.

The chief minister was asked about dissent within the PDP, with party MP Muzuffar Hussain Beigh openly saying that Mufti had bowed before the BJP in finalizing the alliance with it.

Replying, Mufti said, “there is dissent in every party and every party should welcome it. They should engage people in debate. Such dissent is the essence of democracy. Beigh is a senior leader of our party. He has every right to have his own view-point. I am not a contractor of the party.”

Besides Beigh, party MP Tariq Hamid Qarra has also been critical of Mufti for forming coalition government with BJP. They have issued statements criticizing the state government led by Mufti over various decisions.

Defending his decision to ally with BJP, Mufti said people are satisfied with it.

“I feel that it is my vindication, whatever I did on first of March, 2015. When I look towards the ground situation now, people have a level of satisfaction with that (my decision),” he said.

Can’t happen before end of term: BJP

With Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed hinting about the change of guard in the state saying that his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti “has every right to be CM”, his coalition partner in the government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has said that any such development in the state will take place only after the government completes its one year term in office.

BJP’s senior leader told KNS that the saffron party has not received any officially communication from PDP in this regard. “We hear such reports from media. There is no communication at the official level or at the organizational level,” he said, adding that if a reshuffle in the cabinet or the change of guard happen, it has to happen after the completion of one year of BJP-PDP government. 

Reacting to a newspaper report which claimed that has set a condition of getting R&B and Finance ministries for any change of guard to happen, he said the reports are “baseless and devoid of any factual accuracy”. 

Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sukhnandhan Kumar told KNS that any decision regarding change of guard in the state would be decided by the PDP leadership in consultation with BJP’s high command in New Delhi. “State BJP unit has no role in this regard. When the coalition was formed, deliberations regarding that happened in New Delhi. Now if change of guard takes place, BJP’s central leadership will have to take a call,” he told KNS. (KNS) 


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