January 2016 News

All Eyes On Mehbooba Ahead Of First Formal PDP Meet After Mufti's Death

30 January 2016
The Hindustan Times
Toufiq Rashid

Srinagar: In the first formal meeting after the death of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will discuss the late leader's agenda of peace and development on Sunday. After nearly a month of uncertainty, all eyes are on the meeting of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti with party legislators, provincial presidents, district presidents and zonal presidents of Kashmir province at her Fairview residence. Speaking to Hindustan Times, party spokesman Nayeem Akhtar said the party has authorised Mehbooba Mufti to take a decision on government formation. 'She is yet to speak about government formation to party members,' Akhtar said. He, however, refused to comment on whether government formation is likely to be discussed. 'We will discuss the agenda of peace and development set for the party by the late chief minister,' he added. After Sayeed's death on January 7, PDP hasn't elected a leader of the legislative assembly. Jammu and Kashmir is under governor's rule after PDP delayed government formation following the chief minister's demise. Mehbooba is however tipped to become the first woman chief minister of the state in case the party decides to form the government. PDP, which has 28 members in the legislative assembly, is 16 short of the magic figure of 44 to form the government. BJP, however, seemed hopeful that Sunday's meeting will be decisive. 'We hope something concrete comes out of Sunday's meeting. PDP has to take a call, we are in no hurry,' said Dr Nirmal Singh, former deputy chief minister and BJP state president. 'All I want to say is that the state is waiting for a democratically-elected government to take over,' Singh added. PDP leadership is insisting on removal of AFSPA from Jammu and Srinagar, engagement of talks with separatists and handing over Centre-owned projects to the state.