National

Mehbooba to be sworn-in tomorrow as J-K CM

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti will be sworn in tomorrow as the first Muslim woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, heading a coalition government with BJP in the only Muslim-majority state.

The 56-year-old leader, daughter of PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, will take oath of office at Raj Bhawan in Jammu tomorrow at 11.00 AM.

Mehbooba assuming office will be a landmark event in the history of Jammu and Kashmir as well as rest of the country.

She will be the first woman to head a government in Jammu and Kashmir and the second Muslim woman to become the Chief Minister of a state in India. Syeda Anwara Taimur was the first Muslim woman CM in Assam in 1980 and continued to hold the chair till June 30, 1981.

Governor N N Vohra yesterday invited the PDP president to form and lead the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state.

"The Governor's invitation to (Mehbooba) 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 Sat Sharma, president, J&K BJP in regard to this matter," an official spokesman said.

The PDP-BJP government can expect a smooth run if the two ideologically opposite parties can avoid controversies that dogged their first brush together with power when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed headed the government for 10 months till his death on January 7.

The PDP-BJP coalition, which also has Sajad Gani Lone led Peoples' Conference as a constituent, has 56 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly.

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