Srinagar: Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti, on Saturday visited the grave of her father and former Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, in home town Bijbehara to offer prayers and seek blessing before walking in his footsteps.
The 56-year-old Mufti will on Sunday fly to winter capital Jammu where she is scheduled to be sworn in as Jammu and Kashmir’s first woman chief minister at the head of PDP-BJP coalition government on Monday.
She was accompanied by her daughter Iltija, uncle Amin Mufti and her cousin Sajad Mufti during her visit to Bijbehara, 48-km south of here, the party sources said.
Earlier Mufti personally spoke to her political bête noire former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) working president, Omar Abdullah, on the phone to invite him for her swearing-in ceremony. Abdullah accepted the invitation. He later wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.com, “Very gracious of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba to phone & invite me to her oath taking ceremony. I look forward to being there on the 4th”.
Others who have been invited to the oath taking ceremony include Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Jitendra Singh scheduled to be held in the sprawling lawns of Raj Bhavan in Jammu at 11 am on Monday. BJP’s national general secretary, Ram Madhav, who played key role towards sealing of the pact with PDP will also grace the occasion.
Mufti’s mother Gulshan Ara Nazir, brother Tassaduq Hussain Sayeed and daughters Iltija and Irtiqa are also likely to be present but it is not yet clear if her two sisters Rubaya Sayeed and Mehmooda Sayeed who live with their families outside Jammu and Kashmir will also make to the ceremony.
Over two dozen ministers including Deputy Chief Minister designate Nirmal Singh will also take oath at the swearing-in-ceremony, sources said. The BJP had publicly pitched for “just and equitable share" in power with PDP and was driving a hard bargain before the swearing-in of Mufti but it is not known if the demand has been conceded by its ally.
On reaching Jammu on Sunday, Mufti will hold discussions with the party leaders and leader of the BJP legislative party Singh on composition of the ministry and distribution of portfolios.
“The names of people from the alliance partners to be inducted into her council of ministers have already been decided and it would only be a formality process that is going to be undertaken by them,” the sources said.
PDP and BJP had staked claim for government formation on March 26, two days after Mufti was elected as PDP's legislature party leader....