India, Srinagar: Yesterday, Mehbooba Mufti, 56, was sworn in as the first woman Chief Minister (CM) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took oath this morning as the first woman Chief Minister of the country’s only Muslim majority state, Jammu and Kashmir, at the head of a coalition government that includes the BJP.
She succeeds her father Mufti Mohammad Saeed who died in January this year. 23 ministers are taking oath along with Ms Mufti, including members of the BJP, whose Nirmal Singh will be Deputy chief minister. In an indication of the struggles that lie ahead for Ms Mufti, senior PDP leader and lawmaker Tariq Karra boycotted the oath ceremony. “I had a meeting Mehboobaji till late last night. I wanted three ministers who have played a dubious role and are responsible for the failure of Mufti Mohammad Saeed to be dropped,” Mr Karra told.
Mr Karra wanted Ms Mufti to exclude key PDP leaders Altaf Bukhari, Naeem Akhtar and Haseeb Drabu from her council of ministers. He alleges that they plotted to form government in alliance with the BJP without Ms Mufti as she refused to take oath for three months after her father’s death. Ms Mufti dropped Mr Bukhari, but not the others. She has instead replaced two lawmakers who were junior ministers in Mufti Saeed’s team. Mr Karra is no lightweight. In 2014, he defeated former union minister Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference in the general elections.