Mehbooba Mufti is likely to be the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir as she has emerged as the unanimous choice for the post following the death of incumbent, and her father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today.
“As far as PDP is concerned, we are unanimous that Mehbooba shall succeed Mufti Sahib,” senior PDP leader and Lok Sabha member Muzaffar Hussain Baig told reporters.
However, Mehbooba’s ascent to the post of the Chief Minister would require approval of BJP, the junior coalition partner in the state government.
Although no one from the BJP has so far opposed Mehbooba’s elevation, a final decision on the issue will be taken by the party high command. In the 87-member J and K Assembly PDP won 28 seats and BJP 25 while opposition National Conference got 15 and Congress 12.
Unlike the long delay in stitching the alliance with PDP last year, the BJP will have to make up its mind quickly with the Budget Session of the Assembly slated to begin on January 18.
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.