Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passed away of multiple organ failure in New Delhi on Thursday morning after nearly a week-long hospitalisation. He was 79.
Mr Sayeed, a two-time chief minister, started his second tenure on March 1st, 2015 in alliance with the BJP, after having led the State government between 2002-05 previously. He was the founder of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (JKPDP) that he founded in 1999 to persuade “the Indian government into an unconditional dialogue with the Kashmiri people.”
In a long career in politics, Mr Sayeed was a Congressman till 1987. He was Minister for Tourism in the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986, after which he joined former Prime Minister V P Singh’s National Front government as Home Minister. His short stint there (1989-90) was marred by the kidnapping by Kashmiri militants of his daughter Rubaiyya Sayeed. Mr. Sayeed’s other daughter Mehbooba Mufti is considered his political heir, and through his illness there has been talk of her succeeding as Chief Minister.