January 2016 News

Prez, PM Lead Nation In Mourning Sayeed's Demise

7 January 2016
The Daily Excelsior

New Delhi: Leaders cutting across the political spectrum today condoled the death of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, describing him as a leader with remarkable political acumen and a statesman who provided a 'healing touch' to the State. In his message to Sayeed's daughter Mehbooba Mufti, President Pranab Mukherjee said, 'I am sad to learn about the passing away of your father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.' 'Sayeed was a colleague of long years. He distinguished himself through remarkable political acumen and vision. Throughout his life, Sayeed worked for the socio-political transformation and betterment of Jammu and Kashmir. In his passing away, we have lost an outstanding public figure who was always in touch with the grassroots of society,' he said. Sayeed's contribution to Jammu and Kashmir and India through years of public service will be always remembered, he said. Vice-President Hamid Ansari, in his message, said, 'An eminent statesman and a popular leader, Sayeed made immense contribution to the progress and welfare of Jammu and Kashmir. He was a consensus builder and always placed the nation's interest ahead of every other consideration. His death is an irreparable loss to the people of India.' Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Sayeed, saying his demise leaves a huge void in the nation and that the leader who provided a healing touch would be missed. 'Mufti Sahab provided a healing touch to J&K through his leadership. He will be missed by all of us. Condolences to his family & supporters,' he said in a tweet. 'What stood out about Mufti Sahab was his statesmanship. In his long political journey he won many admirers across the political spectrum,' Modi said. The Prime Minister said Mufti's demise leaves a 'huge void in the nation and in J&K, where his exemplary leadership had a major impact on people's lives'. The Prime Minister later went to Palam Airport to pay his last respects to the departed leader. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was deeply pained to learn of Sayeed's demise. 'He was known for his love for common people, especially the underprivileged.' The Home Minister, who met Sayeed's family in AIIMS soon after his death, said 'Mufti Sayeed ji had a wonderful understanding of complex issues pertaining to J&K. He wanted to bring permanent peace to the Valley.' The demise of Mufti Sayeed is an 'irreparable loss' to Jammu and Kashmir. His departure has also left a big void in national politics, he said. Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed grief over the demise of Mufti as she communicated her condolences to his wife and Mehbooba Mufti. 'In his death, the State of Jammu and Kashmir as indeed the entire nation has lost a great leader,' she said. Recalling his long association with the Congress, she said Mufti's contribution as a 'humanist and to public life in various capacities will forever be remembered.' BJP President Amit Shah said he was 'deeply saddened' on hearing the news of Mufti's death as he called him a 'rare politician.' 'Many condolences to his family and supporters in this hour of grief,' Shah said. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of Mufti and sent a message to his daughter Ms Mehbooba Mufti. Dr Singh emphasised Sayeed's contribution as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir twice and also country's Home Minister. According to him, 'In Sayeed's death, India has lost a noble human being and great national leader who served both in Jammu and and Delhi with great distinction'. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi expressed shock and grief at the passing away of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and hailed him as a 'humanist'. Sonia also visited AIIMS, where Sayeed had been undergoing treatment for the past few days, in the morning to pay her condolences. Extending her condolences to his wife and daughter Mehbooba Mufti, other family members and friends, the Congress president said that in his death, the state of Jammu and Kashmir as indeed the entire nation had lost a great leader. Recalling his long association with the Congress party, Sonia said, 'Muftiji's contribution as a humanist and to public life in various capacities will forever be remembered.' Rahul, who is away on a vacation to Europe, condoled the death on Twitter. 'Extremely saddened to learn of the passing away of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Saab. My condolences to his family and supporters. 'A veteran politician, he had a long & distinguished political career. His loss will be deeply mourned in J&K and across the country,' he tweeted. At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Kapil Sibal said that Muftiji had a very deep rooted relationship with Congress as also with late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former Chief Minister of J&K Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed profound grief and sorrow on the passing away of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. In his condolence message, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, 'I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Mufti Sahab. My heart goes out in sympathy to Mrs Mufti, Mehbooba Mufti and members of the bereaved family'. Azad said that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's demise has created a void in the socio-political arena of Jammu & Kashmir and the country which is very difficult to fill. Recalling his long association with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Azad said he was a hard-core nationalist, a true democrat and a pro-people political leader who made enormous contribution to public life at the national and State level. 'I have had a very close and personal relation with Mufti Sahab during his long political career. What made him matchlessly distinct were his indefatigable will, firmness of resolve and inexhaustible energy'. BJP today paid glowing tributes to Mufti Mohammad Sayeed with top party leaders hailing him as a 'statesman', 'staunch nationalist' and 'a great son of India' whose death has caused an 'irreparable loss' to the country. As top saffron leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, showered encomiums on the departed leader, it was as much a nod to the political acumen and stature of the man whose party (PDP) was long accused by BJP of nursing soft separatism before they joined hands last year, paving the way for him to rule the State for a second time. 'He was a rare politician, a popular CM and an efficient administrator. He ceaselessly worked for the State's development. The demise of Sayeed is an irreparable loss not only for Jammu & Kashmir but for the entire country. His death has created a void in politics which is difficult to fill,' Shah said. BJP veteran L K Advani noted that the former Union Home Minister had survived several attacks on his life by Kashmiri separatists opposed to Indian rule and hailed him for 'successfully' leading the BJP-PDP coalition Government. 'He was a very popular leader,' he said. Union Minister and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari described Sayeed as a 'staunch nationalist' who always worked for the development of Jammu and Kashmir and devoted his entire life to the welfare of all its regions. 'His death has left a great void in the politics of J&K. Mufti Sahab will be remembered as a great son of India,' Gadkari said in his effusive tribute. Expressing sadness over his death, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Sayeed passed away when the country and the state needed him the most. 'A true statesman amongst the politicians of the current era,' he said. Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, while expressing grief over the untimely demise of J&K Chief Minister, said, 'we have lost one of the last surviving veterans from the first generation of post-independence politicians and statesmen'. 'His biggest attribute was that he had the capacity to rise above party affiliation and draw roadmap with future vision. Moreover, he had the capacity to carry everybody along and the evidence of this is the fact that when he was Chief Minister during the PDP-Congress Coalition Government he never hesitated in appreciating the vision and policies of the then Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee', Dr Singh further said. 'We came in contact with Mufti Sayeed when we were students and he was chief of Pradesh Congress Committee in 1970s', Dr Singh said, adding 'at that time he was known to be prominent Congress party leaders close to the Indira Gandhi'. The Union Minister further said, 'we must acknowledge that he played singular role in bringing J&K politicians closer to the mainstream politics of India'. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said Sayeed was a visionary leader who dedicated his entire life to a united and strong J&K and India. 'His demise at a crucial juncture is saddening. Condolences,' he said. BJP Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay has described Mufti Sayeed as an embodiment of the fragrant Kashmiriyat. 'Often we shall have the hand picked Cherries from his home and once Mehbooba insisted, I can't let you go without these fresh ones, Mufti Saheb would be annoyed otherwise,' Vijay recalled while apying tributes to Sayeed. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said he was shocked to know about the sudden demise of Sayeed and expressed his condolences. In a tweet, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said, 'Saddened to hear about Mufti Sahab's demise. Wishing his family peace and strength during this difficult time.' West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today condoled the death of Mufti Sayeed. 'Saddened to hear about passing away of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ji. My condolences to his family, people of J&K and party colleagues,' Banerjee tweeted. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today today mourned the demise of Sayeed and expressed their condolence to the departed leader's family and supporters. 'Deeply saddened to hear of Mufti Sahib's demise. My condolence to his family and supporters (sic),' he tweeted. In a condolence message, the Bihar Chief Minister said that the country has lost a great, popular and visionary leader in the passing away of the 79 year-old Sayeed. He said that during a distinguished political career spanning several years, Sayeed had performed various responsibilities with aplomb. RJD supremo Lalu Prasad also mourned the death of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and said he (Sayeed) was a warm, brilliant and exemplary leader. 'Deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Mufti Sahab. He was kind, warm, brilliant and exemplary leader with strong administrative qualities,' he tweeted. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and former chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) president Mayawati condoled the death of Sayeed . In his condolence message, Mr Yadav said Sayeed had always tried to develop Kashmir and was an efficient politician. Ms Mayawati in her message said Sayeed since the days when he became the Union Home Minister and till the time of his death as CM of Jammu and Kashmir, always tried to solve the Kashmir issue. 'The Kashmir leader faced several challenges but he never compromised on any issues,' she said. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condoled the passing away of J&K Chief Minister this morning . 'Very sad to hear about Shri Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's demise. May his soul rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, ' he said on micro-blogging site Twitter. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today expressed shock and grief over the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at New Delhi today. In a condolence message released here , Ms Jayalalithaa described the demise of Mr Sayeed as 'untimely and sad'. He was one of the tallest leaders from Jammu and Kashmir with long years of experience in politics and gGvernment both in the State and at the Centre, she said. Ms Jayalalithaa also said Mr Sayeed dedicated his life to 'bring peace and tranquillity' to Jammu and Kashmir. In his passing away the nation has lost a great leader and a politician of great distinction. 'I convey my heartfelt condolences to his daughter Mehabooba Mufti Sayeed and other members of the family', she said.