Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who prised open Valley politics, no more

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and PDP leader, passed away on Thursday.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 8, 2016 3:25 am
Mufti Mohammad, Mufti Mohammad died, Mufti Mohammad dead, Mufti Mohammad sayeed, delhi aiims death, Mufti Mohammad sayeed death, j&k cm dead, j k chief minister died, jammu Kashmir cm dead, breaking news. Kashmir news Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Jammu and Kashmir CM, who passed away earlier on Thursday (Express photo)

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who redrew the contours of politics in Jammu and Kashmir by deftly bringing into its mainstream voices and ideas that were considered separatist, died in New Delhi Thursday. He was 79.

READ: J&K CM Mufti Sayeed passes away due to multiple organ failure: Here’s what happened

Sayeed, who took charge as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for the second time last March after entering into an unlikely alliance with the BJP, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi after battling a respiratory infection for two weeks.

Daughter Mehbooba Mufti, his political heir and chief of the PDP, is set to become the first woman chief minister of the state.

Read: Profile of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

“She (Mehbooba Mufti) is the soul of the party,” senior PDP leader and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar told The Indian Express. “As far as her being the chief minister is concerned, everybody (in PDP) is unanimous on that.”

The J&K government has announced seven days of state mourning. The national flag was flown half-mast Thursday across the country as a mark of respect.

Read: Leaders react to Mufti’s passing away

Sayeed’s body was flown in a special IAF plane to Srinagar and he was laid to rest at his ancestral village in Bijbehara in South Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes to Sayeed at the Palam technical area before the body was flown to Srinagar.

See rare photos of CM Mufti from Express archives

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also conveyed her condolences to his family. “In his death, the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as indeed the entire nation, has lost a great leader,” she said.

Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah also condoled the death of Sayeed.

A Congressman until 1987, Sayeed left the party and joined the ranks of V P Singh to become Home Minister of the National Front government in 1989. He was Chief Minister from 2002 to 2005 with the Congress as his coalition partner.

In a political career spanning nearly six decades, Sayeed straddled politics in the state and the Centre. With daughter Mehbooba, he ensured that the PDP emerged as a major player in Kashmir politics, challenging the Abdullahs of the National Conference.

If he allied with the Congress to become the chief minister the first time, he joined hands with the BJP last year to head a coalition for the second time.

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  1. A
    American Muse
    Jan 9, 2016 at 2:25 am
    The Mufti changes his party's affiliation as needed, eh?
  2. S
    Jan 7, 2016 at 4:43 am
    Heartfelt condolences to the family of Mufti-sahab, and the people of JandK. BJP should set aside its interests and cooperate fully with Ms. Mehbooba in the transition for the sake of integrity of Nation and JandK ...
  3. T
    Jan 7, 2016 at 7:28 am
    He did Nothing for the Kashmiri Hindus when thousands were butchered and women Raped to Death. May the Religion of peace give him peace.
  4. M
    M. Kapil
    Jan 7, 2016 at 4:59 am
    There is no mention in the obit of terrorists being released to save his daughter from captivity, when the mufti was union home minister. This single instance was cited by relatives of the hijacked IA plane. They too asked for the release of terrorists from prison in return for the plane pengers, thus laying the foundation for India's cowardly policies.
  5. N
    Niladrinath Mohanty
    Jan 7, 2016 at 3:50 am
    Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was a suave person. It is a loss. May his soul rest in peace. But when I was going through his brief bio-data as published in this news item I found besides doing law he studied Arabic history when there is so much to know about the subcontinent and its history, languages, diversity and culture. I have felt that this been a fixation with the Muslims of our subcontinent- to identify themselves with the Arabs and therefore many people suspect their loyalty to the country to which they belong. There is no doubt that Ms. Mehbooba Mufti will succeed him and I hope she will be able to dispel the doubt that she is a pseudo separitist.
  6. S
    Satendra Kumar
    Jan 7, 2016 at 6:22 am
    The great man for JAMMU and KASHMIR may legacy will be remembered for Mufthi.A doctorate for peace and prosperity for the state.
  7. S
    Jan 7, 2016 at 3:19 am
    Hope he is remembered as the CM who tried till the end.
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