J&K: Mehbooba's brother formally joins PDP; may contest Anantnag bypoll

The cinematographer turned politician had earlier repeatedly said that he was not interested in politics.

Srinagar: Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, the cinematographer brother of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Saturday formally joined the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and pledged to “bring peace and prosperity to the State” and ensure “common people and VIPs walk together.”

He announced his decision to join the party at a rally held here to commemorate the first death anniversary of its founder and his father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. He said, “I’m joining the PDP not just because I am the son of late Mufti Sahib; but only after I’m convinced and inspired by the amount of work the PDP has done for Jammu and Kashmir and its people.”

The 45-year-old Hussain may be the party’s candidate to contest the election on Anantnag Lok Sabha seat from where his sister Mehbooba was elected in the 2014 elections, the party sources said. Till the by-poll is held, he is likely to be assigned ‘immense responsibility’ and given important party work in the PDP, the sources said. He is the only son among the four siblings.

Hussain, an American Film Institute graduate, who was behind Bollywood blockbusters like Omkara and Kaminey, had attended a meeting of the PDP’s extended core group in January last year.

The meeting giving credence to reports that he has been successfully persuaded by the family and some close associates of his late father to join active politics and supplement the effort aimed at taking his (Sayeed’s) ‘mission’ forward. However, it took him almost one year to do it as he was waiting for the completion of a couple of Bollywood projects he was associated with.

Announcing to join the PDP formally, he claimed that he had remained aloof from politics all his life. “But today I have joined the PDP officially and it is a very important day of my life. I will walk with you and take your aspirations along,” he said adding that he dream was to clean up politics in Kashmir.

During the lifetime of his father, Hussain had repeatedly said that he is not interested in politics. When asked about it had in an interview his mother Gulshan Nazir Ara said, “Wherever he is, he should be happy.”

The PDP was launched by Sayeed and his daughter Mufti in 1999 after quitting Congress party. PDP cobbled together a coalition government with ideologically divergent BJP in March 2015 at the head of its patron Sayeed who died in a Delhi hospital on January 7. Mufti after initial reluctance assumed her father mantle and became the Chief Minister on April 4 last year.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who is also the president of the PDP, while welcoming her brother in the party, said he like his father has a dream to do something for Jammu and Kashmir. She said, “Tassaduq has his own identity and his own work. No one in Mumbai knew him as Mufti Sayeed’s son till his second term (as chief minister). Like his father, he wants to do something for Jammu and Kashmir”

Sayeed’s first death anniversary was observed by the party by holding special prayer meetings in the twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu and at some other places in the State. An official release said that Sayeed was remembered by people for his “contribution in changing the political discourse in Jammu and Kashmir and putting it on the track of peace, dignity, development and prosperity”.

Earlier during the day, Chief Minister Mehbooba and other family members and senior party leaders visited the highway town of Bijbehara, 48-km south of Srinagar, and paid floral tributes at the late leader’s mausoleum. She offered Fateha beside his grave and joined Qur’an Khawani (reciting holy Qur’a).

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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