J&K Chief Minister passes away
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away in Delhi's AIIMS hospital today. He had been admitted there two weeks ago for heath complications. J&K Education Minister and spokesman for government- Nayeem Akhter said that the 79 year old CM passed away at 7.30 AM. He is survived by his wife, a son and three daughters, including PDP President Mehbooba Mufti.
Born on 12 January 1936, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed began his political career by joining the Democratic National Conference Party in 1950. He was the founder of the People's Democratic Party and became the 12th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on 1 March 2015. This was his second term as Chief Minister of J&K; he was first voted to power in November 2002.
Sayeed won his first seat in Bijbehara, Anantnag district in 1962 under the DNC and quickly rose through the party ranks. He retained his seat in 1967, but parted ways with the DNC soon after and became a state minister of the Congress in 1971. He played a crucial role in making the Congress a formidable political force in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sayeed was made President of the Pradesh Congress and the leader of the Congress Legislature Party in J&K in 1972. However, he lost the first two elections he fought under the Congress banner. He helped the Congress uproot Farooq Abdullah's National Conference party in the 1984 J&K elections. He was made the Union Tourism and Civil Aviation minister under Rajiv Gandhi.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed quit the Congress to join VP Singh's Jan Morcha in 1987, and became India's first and only Muslim Union Home Minister in 1989.
Mufti Mohammed Sayeed joined the Congress again in the 1990's when it was under PV Narasimha Rao. However, he quit the Congress in 1999 to form his own party, the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party, along with his daughter Mehbooba Mufti. He became the Chief Minister of J&K from 2002 to 2005 by forming an alliance with the Congress.
Due to Sayeed's allegiance to various parties across the political spectrum (Democratic National Conference, Congress, Jan Morcha, BJP), he is often portrayed by his detractors as untrustworthy and a 'political opportunist'.
There have been numerous attempts on Sayeed's life. Officially, these have been attributed to separatist forces. However, Sayeed has on occasions alleged that the National Conference government was responsible. In 1989, after being sworn in as Union Home Minister, his daughter was kidnapped by militants of the J&K Liberation Front. They released her in exchange for the release of five captured militants.
Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and co-founder of the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party will be sworn in as Jammu and Kashmir's thirteenth Chief Minister.