New Delhi, Jan 7: Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's daughter Mehbooba Mufti likely to become Jammu and Kashmir's next Chief Minister soon. According to latest reports, both allies PDP and BJP have reached consensus following the sudden demise of her father in AIIMS on Thursday.
Though now official confirmation has come from either side, sources say that Mehbooba is being seen as the most "logical choice" as Mufti's successor .
It is being said that both parties want final decision over the new Chief Minister of State before State budget session, which is to begin from January 18.
When asked about the reports of changing guard in the State, BJP leaders answered diplomatically. "As far as the change of guard in the government is concerned, we have not received any call from PDP", Deputy CM Dr Nirmal Singh said.
Another leader Chaudhary Lal Singh who is health minister of State said that it is 'internal matter' of PDP.
Meanwhile, PDP leader Rafiq Mir said, "This matter was not decided but obviously our choice is President of Party Mehbooba ji".
If things will fall in place, Mehbooba Mufti will be the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly PDP won 28 seats and BJP 25 while opposition National Conference got 15 and Congress 12.
Mehbooba, who has assumed an image of a fiery leader, started her political career in 1996 by joining Congress along with her father. The 56-year-old mother of two daughters is also president of the PDP. She won her first Assembly election as Congress candidate from her home segment of Bijbehara.
Mehbooba played a key role in her father's victory as Mehbooba played a key role in her father's victory as Congress candidate in Lok Sabha elections of 1998 when Sayeed defeated NC's Mohammad Yousuf Taing from south Kashmir. The Muftis, along with some key associates, floated their own regional party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999.
In 2002 Assembly elections, PDP bagged 16 seats and Sayeed for the first time became Chief Minister with the support of Congress and some independent MLAs. In 2004, Mehbooba contested and won her first Lok Sabha election, from south Kashmir.
In 2008, she contested and was returned as MLA from Wachi segment of Shopian in south Kashmir when PDP bagged 21 seats but lost power to NC-Congress coalition. In 2014, she was yet again returned as Lok Sabha member from south Kashmir.
Later in November-December Assembly elections, PDP got 28 seats and in March 2015 it formed its second government in Jammu and Kashmir---this time in an alliance with BJP. Mehbooba has never lost an election from South Kashmir so far.
(With inpts from PTI)