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National
Mufti Mohammad laid to rest; PDP seeks Mehbooba as CM
07-01-2016

Srinagar: Thousands on Thursday evening attended the burial of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who died in New Delhi. While the PDP urged the governor to let his daughter Mehbooba Mufti take charge of the Muslim-majority state, coalition partner BJP said it may bargain for a 50:50 formula for rest of the chief ministerial term.

A huge mass of mourners assembled at the first 'Nimaz-e-Jinaza' (funeral prayer) for Sayeed here and a second in his hometown Bijbehara where he was laid to rest.

Peoples Democratic Party leaders Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and Altaf Bukhari submitted a letter to Governor N.N. Vohra nominating Mehbooba Mufti as the leader of the PDP's legislature party -- which would entitle her to assume charge as the new chief minister.

A senior PDP leader said its coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party backed Mehbooba Mufti's elevation as chief minister.

Mehbooba Mufti, a Lok Sabha member, will have to get elected to the assembly or be nominated to the legislative council (upper house) within six months if she succeeds her late father as the chief minister. She will be the first woman chief minister of the country's only Muslim-majority state.

However, BJP leader Avinash Rai Khanna, who is in charge of the party affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, said the chief ministerial issue has not been decided yet, and the party will take a call soon.

"There has been no discussion over the issue of the chief ministerial candidate yet. When the matter comes up, the party will take a call," Khanna told IANS.

"It is for the PDP to decide who will be its legislature party leader," he said when asked about the PDP nominating Mehbooba Mufti as its leader in the state legislature.