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Mufti dead, Mehbooba to succeed as CM

Mufti dead, Mehbooba to succeed as CM
Highlights

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who crafted an impossible coalition with BJP in the Muslim-majority state, died on Thursday and just hours later his party PDP chose his daughter Mehbooba Mufti as his successor. 

New Delhi/Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who crafted an impossible coalition with BJP in the Muslim-majority state, died on Thursday and just hours later his party PDP chose his daughter Mehbooba Mufti as his successor.

Sayeed, 79, breathed his last at AIIMS on Thursday morning after remaining on ventilator for the past few days. A Congressman till 1987, Sayeed left the party and joined the ranks of V P Singh to become the only Muslim Home Minister of India when he was inducted into the cabinet of the National Front government in 1989.

Hours after the death of Mufti, MLAs of the 28-member PDP legislature party unanimously elected Mehbooba as their leader and a delegation met the Governor in the Raj Bhavan and handed over a letter backing the claim of the 56-year-old Mehbooba to take over as the 13th Chief Minister of the state.

The smooth succession of power was possible with coalition partner BJP giving clear signals that it had no objection to Mufti's daughter taking over the reins of power, contrary to earlier speculation that the saffron party may have some reservations.

It was not clear when she would be sworn in. "It will follow in due course of time as we are still in the process of performing last rites of our beloved leader," a PDP leader said. Draped in the national tricolour and the red-and-white flag of the state,

the coffin was later taken from his official residence in Srinagar to the ancestral graveyard in Anantnag. He was given a state funeral before being laid to rest with full state honours as thousands of his admirers and party activists paid him homage.

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