Mehbooba Mufti, leader of PDP, will be the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir (File photo)
A brief spell of Governor's Rule appears likely in Jammu and Kashmir as Mehbooba Mufti, who is expected to succeed her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as the Chief Minister, is unwilling to take oath till Monday. Sources told NDTV that Governor's Rule could be imposed as early as this evening.
Monday marks the end of the traditional four-day mourning for Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who died at Delhi's Al-India Institute of Medical Sciences on Thursday after a brief illness. Mehbooba Mufti, who will be the state's first woman Chief Minister, was expected to take oath today.
"There will be no oath-taking till at least Monday," Muzzafar Hussain Baig, a lawmaker of Ms Mufti's People's Democratic Party has said. The PDP, he said, has not sent letter of support to Governor.
Unless Ms Mufti is ready to step into the office, the state has to pass under Governor's Rule.
As per the Jammu and Kashmir constitution, the chief minister's post cannot be kept vacant. So unless a new chief minister takes oath immediately, Governor's Rule is imposed in the state.
"The legislators will meet when Mehbooba is in the right frame of mind. The party has nominated her and we are very confident that the BJP will back our decision to have her as the Chief Minister," Mr Baig said.
The BJP's lawmakers are meeting today to formally decide on the support to Ms Mufti as the chief minister. Senior party leader Ram Madhav is arriving in Srinagar to oversee this.
Mehbooba Mufti began her political career in 1996, joining the Congress. In 1999, she was by her father's side as he broke away from the Congress and launched the PDP.