After almost 12 weeks of uncertainty, president of the People’s Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti will on Monday take oath as the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
There is intense speculation on how the new government will function. It is well-known that unlike her more amiable and politically catholic father, Mehbooba has little patience with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Leader of the National Conference and former chief minister Omar Abdullah thanked the CM designate for her graciousness in inviting him to the oath-taking ceremony, after having held up all administration in the state for three months after her father and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died in January.
Mehbooba Mufti wanted her constituency to be conscious that it was with extreme reluctance that she was forming a government with the BJP, sources said.
BJP is said to have attempted to pressure her to renegotiate the portfolios of finance, planning and home. The home ministry has traditionally been with the chief minister. The BJP has been unhappy that all portfolios connected with public dealings have been with the PDP.
The BJP is facing heat within the party as many legislators are demanding Cabinet berths. Sources said the BJP might ease out some leaders because of poor feedback from its ranks.
“There are no differences. Distribution of portfolios will be decided by the Central leadership,” BJP State President Sat Sharma said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a foreign trip and is likely to return later on Sunday night.
J-K had slipped into governor’s rule immediately after sitting Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s demise on January 7. The PDP-BJP stalemate that began after the death had ended only after a meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Mehbooha Mufti on March 23.