Governor N.N. Vohra today invited Mehbooba Mufti, President J&K Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to form and lead the PDP-BJP coalition Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
"The Governor's invitation to Mufti follows the earlier discussions with the PDP and BJP Presidents regarding formation of government in the State and the subsequent communications received from her and Mr. Sat Sharma, President, J&K BJP, in regard to this matter," Raj Bhavan spokesman said. The oath ceremony is scheduled to be held on Monday, April 4 at 11 A.M at the Raj Bhavan, Jammu.
Ahead of taking oath as the Chief Minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti Saturday visited her father's grave in Bijbehara town of South Kashmir's Islamabad (Anantnag) district. She also visited her maternal uncle Sartaj Ahmad Madni and offered prayers at the graves of several relatives in Devsar area of Kulgam district.
Mehbooba caught everyone by surprise when she suddenly reached the graveyard of her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in Dara Shikoh garden of Bijbehara at around 4:30 PM.
She was accompanied by her younger daughter IltijaJaved, uncle Muhammad Amin Mufti and nephew Mufti Sajad.
"After praying there for a while PDP chief along with her daughter headed towards the house of her maternal uncle and senior party leader Sartaj Ahmad Madni in Aakhran-Nowpora village in Devsar area of Kulgam district.
Madni – who has served as Deputy Speaker of the legislative assembly – has represented Devsar constituency twice before he was defeated by Congress candidate Muhammad Amin Bhat in the last assembly elections.
Mehbooba after staying at her maternal home for a while, went to offer prayers at the graveyard of her maternal grandfather and grandmother before she headed back towards Srinagar.
"There was no official communication about her visit either to Bijbehara or Aakhran-Nowpora village," an official said.
Mehbooba's swearing-in ceremony is expected to be a low-key affair. However, some top ministers in the Union Cabinet and senior BJP leaders are expected to be part of the function.
PDP and BJP came together to form the coalition government in the State in March 2015 under the leadership of former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. However, the State came under Governor's rule on January 8 following the demise of Sayeed, ending the nine month rule of the previous PDP-BJP Government.
The two parties held negotiations for over two and a half months before deciding to resume the alliance following the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mehbooba Mufti in New Delhi last month.