Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was sworn in as the 12th chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on March 1, Sunday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other PDP nad BJP leaders.
Sayeed has an astute political sense honed by decades of experience in Kashmir politics that has stood him in good stead in crafting a delicate alliance with BJP to return as Chief Minister for the second time.
Let's have a look at the life and times of the 79-year-old Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
- Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, a 'sauve' politician, is considered as a man of perseverance and a great survivor.
- Born on Jan 12, 1936 to a poor family in Bijbehara in Anantnag district, Sayeed's political voyage began in 1950 with the National Conference party.
- Sayeed developed a passion for politics in his teens when he met then Kashmir "Prime Minister" Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad in the mid-1950s to seek financial help for higher studies.
- Sayeed is an almunus of SP College in Srinagar and Aligarh Muslim University from where he obtained a degree in Law and Arab History.
- Sayeed started his electoral journey from his birth place in 1962 winning the seat under DNC and retaining it in 1967 which saw him being made a Deputy Minister by Sadiq.
- Soon, he parted ways with NC and joined Congress, where he played a significant role in establishing it in Kashmir.
- In 1971, he became the state minister in the government headed by the Congress party, but he lost the next two elections.
- In 1972, he became a Cabinet Minster and also Congress party's leader in the Legislative Council.
- In 1975 he was made the leader of the Congress Legislature Party and president of Pradesh Congress.
- In 1986, he joined Rajiv Gandhi's Government at the Centre as Union Minister for Tourism.
- In 1987, he quit Congress party to have a brief stint with V P Singh-led Jan Morcha.
- In 1989, he became India's first Muslim home minister.
- In 1989, Rubaiya, one of his three daughters, was kidnapped by terrorists and was released in exchange for the release of five militants.
- In 1999, he rejoined Congress under P V Narasimha Rao, but in the same year, he quit the party to form Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in July.
- Sayeed served as Jammu Kashmir CM from November 2, 2002, to November 2, 2005.
- In 2008 Assembly elections, PDP, that won 21 seats, was ousted by the National Conference, as young Omar Abdullah led his party to victory in the state.
- Due to his allegiance with various political parties, he has been tagged as an 'opportunist' by his political rivals.
- The credit behind the formation of PDP in 1999, mainly goes to his daughter Mehbooba Mufti, a hard bargainer.
- In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, PDP won all three seats in Kashmir Valley.
- Sayeed, his aides say, is determined to weed out corruption from Jammu and Kashmir and give it a transparent government.
- Sayeed has two brothers and a sister. The elder brother was also a religious preacher. The younger brother served the forest department and retired as a forester. His sister was a housewife.
- Besides Mehbooba and Rubaiya, Sayeed has another daughter, Mehmooda. His son, Mufti Tasaduq, is a cinematographer in Hollywood. Sayeed was married into a family of 'Pirs'. His brother-in-law, Sartaj Madni, was the deputy speaker of the last state assembly.
- Sayeed's father, Mufti Gulam Muhammad, was a religious preacher in the south Kashmir village of Bijbehara and didn't own any farm land. His only income were the donations from disciples and whatever he got by imparting religious education to children.