The stage could be set for PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti to be the next chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir with the party and its ally BJP reaching a consensus over the matter following the sudden death of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Sayeed passed away at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Thursday morning. Though no decision has been taken as of now, his daughter Mehbooba is seen as the “logical choice” as his successor, said senior BJP sources.
With a session of the assembly approaching on January 18, a decision may have to be taken soon. BJP has no objections to Mehbooba’s candidature, but might seek some ministerial adjustments at the time of a change of guard.
Senior PDP senior leader and government spokesman Naeem Akhtar agreed that there is complete consensus in the party on Mehbooba Mufti becoming the chief minister.
“Mufti Sahab had himself been saying that Mehbooba Mufti is the right person to lead. There is a complete consensus in the party on it because she is the right leader as she represents aspirations of the cadre and is an undisputed leader. She has been voice and faith of PDP,” he said.
Mehbooba is seen to have worked to consolidate the PDP base in the Kashmir valley. She has been visiting militancy hit families. “She would particularly visit the aggrieved family whose son or head of the family got lost in the militancy related incidents across Kashmir ever since PDP came in to existence in 2000,” a source said.