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Mehbooba Mufti Becomes First Woman CM in J and K
Apr 09, 2016

On April 4, Mehbooba Mufti, Chairperson of the People’s Democratic Party, took the oath as the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, thereby ending 11 weeks of political uncertainty.

  • A leader with grassroots-level popularity, Mehbooba Mufti turned Peoples Democratic Party into a regional force and emerged from the shadow of her illustrious father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to head Jammu and Kashmir, the first woman chief minister of the state.

  • A law graduate, 56-year-old Mehbooba Mufti took a plunge into mainstream politics of the state in 1996 by joining Congress, along with her father, at a time when militancy was at its peak.

  • She is credited with growth of the PDP with some observers arguing that she outshone her father in connecting with the common people, especially the youths.

  • Heading a PDP-BJP government formed with an alliance between two idealogical extremes, Mehbooba Mufti faces a challenging task ahead as she will strive to carry forward her father's 'healing touch' legacy.

  • She assumed an image of a fiery leader and won her first Assembly election as a Congress candidate from her home segment of Bijbehara.

  • She played a key role in her father's victory as Congress candidate in Lok Sabha elections of 1998 from south Kashmir.

  • She also contested Lok Sabha elections from Srinagar in 1999 but was defeated by Omar Abdullah.

  • In the 2002 Assembly polls, PDP bagged 16 seats—most of them from south where Mehbooba Mufti had extensively campaigned and consolidated the support for her party and her father was sworn-in as the chief minister with the support of Congress.

  • Two years later, Mehbooba Mufti contested Parliamentary polls from south Kashmir and won her first Lok Sabha election.

Seven Times Under Governor’s Rule

Jammu and Kashmir has been put under Governor’s Rule for the seventh time since Independence and, ironically, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was an important player on all the occasions which led to the imposition of Central rule in the state. Mufti's death was the cause for the latest promulgation of the Governor Rule, which was imposed seventh time yesterday after allies (PDP and BJP) deferred the government formation process for a long time. Invoking Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Governor N.N. Vohra promulgated Governor's Rule in the state with effect from 8th January 2016.

1. Governor's Rule was first imposed in the state on March 26, 1977 after state Congress, then headed by Mufti Sayeed, withdrew support to the minority government of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah of National Conference. Sheikh Abdullah has come to the power following an accord with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975. The Governor's Rule lasted for 105 days and ended as the National Conference founder returned to power.

2. Governor's Rule was imposed second time in March 1986 after state Congress, again headed by Mufti Sayeed, withdrew support to the minority Government of Ghulam Mohammad Shah. Shah became the Chief Minister after he led a rebellion with National Conference against his brother-in-law and then incumbent Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 1984. This 246-day spell ended after Farooq Abdullah entered into an accord of his own with then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

3. The third time Governor's Rule was imposed in January 1990 when Farooq Abdullah resigned as the Chief Minister over the appointment of Jagmohan as the state Governor following eruption of militancy in the state. Mufti Sayeed was the Union Home Minister at that time and had brushed aside Farooq Abdullah's opposition to Jagmohan's appointment. This was the longest spell of Governor's Rule—six years and 264 days—which ended in October 1996 after National Conference returned to power in elections held after a gap of nine and half years.

4. Six years later, Governor's Rule was again imposed in the state as the 2002 Assembly polls threw up a hung assembly with no party in a position to form a government on its own. Mufti Sayeed, whose regional PDP had won 16 seats, negotiated an alliance with the Congress and dozen-odd independents to form the government, ending the 15-day Governor's Rule.

5. In 2008, Governor's Rule was again imposed after Mufti Sayeed's PDP pulled out of the Congress-led coalition government led by Ghulam Nabi Azad in June following massive protests across the state for and against the allotment of land to Amarnath Shrine Board. The Assembly elections were held later that year and National Conference and Congress formed a coalition government in January 2009, ending 178 days of Governor's Rule.

6. As the 2014 Assembly elections again threw up a hung verdict, Mufti Sayeed, whose PDP emerged as the single largest party, took over two months to stitch an alliance, this time with BJP, necessitating Governor's RUle again. The 51 days Governor’s Rule ended on March 1, when Mufti Sayeed was sworn in as the Chief Minister.


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