Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra imposed Governor’s Rule in the State late on Saturday as efforts to persuade PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to take oath as Chief Minister failed.
In a rare coincidence, the State witnessed Governor’s Rule on the same day in 2015 when the Assembly polls threw up a fractured mandate.
Sources said the BJP’s attempt to persuade Ms. Mufti, whose father and former CM Mufti Muhammad Sayeed died three days ago, failed.
Sonia to attend prayers for Mufti
Congress president Sonia Gandhi will arrive here on Sunday for congregational prayers for the late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who died on Saturday. She had reportedly spoken to his daughter and Peoples Democratic Party leader, Mehbooba Mufti, on the phone.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ramvilas Paswan are likely to attend the fourth day of mourning.
Speculation Amid speculation that partner BJP wanted to change the “rules of engagement”, the party’s State president clarified: “There are certainly no conditions from our side and there was no meeting of our leaders on government formation. We respect the right of the bereaved family of Mufti Sahib to mourn his death.”
“We have firm faith in the BJP, a partner chosen by our patron Mufti sahib. And they are cooperating too without creating any hurdles,” senior PDP leader Altaf Bukhari, and a Cabinet minister in the Mufti government, told The Hindu . “She (Mehbooba) is like her father Mufti sahib. She wants to take her own time,” Mr. Bukhari said.
However, the presence of Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, also the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, at Mufti’s residence for two consecutive days and his visit to the graveyard 50 km from here have fuelled speculation.
“My visit to Bijbehara was purely a mark of respect for Mufti Sahib. Nothing political about it,” said Mr Azad.