Saxena invites Mufti to form new Govt
30 October 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Governor Girish Chandra Saxena today invited People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to form the new coalition Government in the State. ''I have invited Mr Sayeed to form the Government in the State... I am satisfied with the documentary evidence presented by him about the support of coalition partners in the Assembly,'' Mr Saxena told reporters after Mr Sayeed staked claim. ''I am confident that Mr Sayeed enjoys the support of majority members in the House,'' he said. Mr Sayeed, who was present on the occasion, said 56 MLAs in the 87-member House supported him. Mr Sayeed said he will be taking oath of office on Saturday afternoon. He promised to provide a good and clean Government to the people of the State. He said all coalition partners will work as a team to provide a ''healing touch'' to the people. Meanwhile, the shortest spell of 16 days Governor''s rule in the State will come to an end on November 2 with formation of the new Government. Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said all the members who extended support to Mr Sayeed will cooperate with him to run the Government. Asked about ministry formation, Mr Azad said the team will be decided by Mr Sayeed. Saxena invited Sayeed after he along with state Congress chief Ghulam Nabi Azad, Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh and CPI-M leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami called on him and staked the claim. Azad submitted the list of MLAs which Sayeed said contained names of 56 MLAs. PDP has 16 MLAs while the other coalition partners Congress has 20, Panthers Party 4, CPI-M two and the rest independents. The coalition partners were expected to meet to finalise the Ministry formation. Ruling out differences among coalition partners on Ministry formation, Sayeed told reporters that he would keep in mind representation for all the three regions in the State while determining the size. ''It will be a miniature India,'' he said. He said there would be no difficulties in the allocation of portfolios. When reporters persisted with questions on differences over Government formation, Azad replied ''we will support the Chief Minister to the hilt.'' To a question about how he felt leading a coalition Government, Sayeed said it was the responsibility on his shoulders. A coalition Government was a better thing as no one would consider himself as the king of the people. Asked about the priorities of his Government, Sayeed said much hype has already been created about it. ''I will try to live up to the expectations of my people and help them in ushering a new era of peace here.'' The Chief Minister-designate said his Government would bring in a legislation aimed at curbing corruption in the State. This would cover even the office of Chief Minister of the State besides top bureaucrats. Asked whether the Ehtesab (accountability) Bill would also cover those in the previous Government, Sayeed shot back ''when I say everyone, it means everyone.''