SRI NAGAR: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is set to take over as the 13th Chief Minister and as the first woman to hold the office in the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.
The 56-year-old will take oath as Chief Minister of the PDP-BJP government at the Raj Bhavan in Jammu at 11 am. The oath of office will be administered Governor N N Vohra. Mehbooba is currently an MP. This will bring to an end Governor’s rule, imposed in the State on January 8, just a day after the demise of the then CM and Mehbooba’s father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
Senior state BJP leader and the party’s legislature party leader, Dr Nirmal Singh, will take over as Deputy Chief Minister of the State. Nirmal Singh was also the deputy CM in the Mufti Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition government from March 1 last year till Mufti’s death.
Mehbooba, with her mother and other relatives, left for Jammu on Sunday. Sources said in Jammu she had held deliberations with party leaders to decide on ministries and portfolios. The saffron party too met on the matter. Its meetings were chaired by party national general secretary Ram Madhav and party MP and J&K incharge Avinash Khanna.
Sources said PDP and BJP would retain portfolios they had held in the previous government, with minor changes. Mehbooba had shown reluctance to take over as CM after the death of her father. Among other demands, she wanted assurances from the Central government that the Agenda of Alliance framed by both the parties would be adhered to. The fresh demands led to a stalemate between PDP and BJP. The impasse finally ended on March 22 after a meeting between Mehbooba and Prime Minister Modi.