Mourning for Sayeed ends, J&K government formation still in limbo

Jammu/Srinagar : The week-long state mourning on the death of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed ended on Wednesday, but the stalemate on government formation continued.

The state government had announced a seven-day mourning for Sayeed, who passed away on January 7 at AIIMS in New Delhi.

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Despite a statement by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief spokesman Mehboob Beg on Tuesday that Mehbooba Mufti would be sworn-in as the chief minister of the state anytime after the official mourning ended, there was no word yet on government formation from Muehbooba, who is also the PDP president.

Asked to comment on the party spokesman’s statement, former education minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar told IANS: “We have not started formal deliberations on government formation yet.”

“I can only comment on government formation when formal deliberations are started by our party.”

Meanwhile, former state deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh of the coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party said in Jammu: “The call has to come from the PDP.”

“We were asked by the governor to respond on government formation. We wrote to the governor that the response of the party (BJP) would be communicated after the PDP comes forth to stake claim on government formation,” he said.

Sources in the PDP said Mehbooba Mufti has not spoken to anybody on government formation or becoming the chief minister in the state after Sayeed’s death.

Same sources said against the background of the PDP president not seeking or undertaking any consultations on government formation, the views expressed by party spokesman Mehboob Beg could best be described as “personal views of Mehboob Beg”.