SRINAGAR – People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti will be sworn in as the first woman chief minister of the Indian-held Jammu Kashmir on April 4, an Indian newspaper quoted her party leader Amitabh Mattoo as saying.
“Mehbooba Mufti will be sworn in as chief minister on April 4,” said Mattoo, who worked as an adviser to the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, former chief minister and father of the PDP president. The party leader expressed the hope that 56-year-old Mehbooba would usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in the divided state.
After the death of her father, who headed PDP-BJP coalition government for 10 months from March 1 last year until his death on January 7 this year, Mehbooba was reluctant to take over as the chief minister in the coalition government. She was seeking assurances from the government in New Delhi on implementation of Agenda of Alliance, Common Minimum Programme framed by the two parties last year.
Mehbooba also sought some state-specific confidence building measures. However, her meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 22 ended the over two-month-long deadlock on the government formation. She had described her meeting with Prime Minister Modi as positive, saying she was satisfied. The date for the swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet was decided after deliberations between the leadership of both the alliance partners.