Mufti Mohammad Sayeed

As the elections for the state assembly are approaching fast, the VVIP lawmakers are reviving their love for their constituencies they had forgotten for all these years. The latest is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who did not only visit his Islamabad constituency but actually camped there for four days! Even his voters are surprised over the change of heart.
Voters and residents of the constituencies represented by ‘kings’, ‘queens’ and ‘kingmakers’ are unhappy because they usually do not get the attention they deserve. It could be true with Ganderbal, Islamabad, or even Wachi. Representatives of these three constituencies have bigger profiles and major assignments. So they are managed by ‘confidants’. But as the elections are barely a year away, the biggies have started looking for their home turfs and Muftis visit is just the part of that back-home sojourn. But the way Mufti travelled through the interiors of his constituency and interacted with the people surprised many.

Mufti did some tough talking as well, attacking the government, right, left and centre. It irked the ruling NC. “He (Mufti) was the first corrupt minister during G M Sadiq’s regime,” Nasir Aslam Wani, NC’s Provincial President said. The war of words between NC and PDP leaders has intensified lately. Both parties want to rope in ‘good faces’ who could act as ‘game-changers’. Now PDP is being accused of engineering 2008 agitation in partnership with BJP! Some NC leaders seek even probe into it.

He had been a member of the Indian National Congress party until 1987. He is said to have brought about the downfall of the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference government, which was led by Farooq Abdullah, in 1984.

In 1987, he quit the Congress party to join V. P. Singh’s Jan Morcha, and become first Muslim Minister for Home Affairs in the Union Cabinet of India in 1989.
He rejoined the Congress under P V Narasimha Rao which he left in 1999 along with daughter Mehbooba Mufti to form his own party, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party.

In 1989, within few days of taking office as the Union Minister for Home Affairs, his third daughter Rubaiya Sayeed was kidnapped by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front on December 8, 1989. The kidnappers demanded the release of five of their comrades in exchange for Rubaiya’s release. She was released in exchange for the release of five militants. This started a trend later resulting in the release of more militants in exchange for hostages.
 -Bilal Handoo

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