The People's Democratic Party officially elected Mehbooba Mufti as its chief ministerial candidate, in a crucial meeting at her residence in Srinagar on Thursday. Legislators also came to a unanimous decision on nominating Mufti as PDP's legislative leader, which is constitutionally required before she stakes claim to form government. Set to become the state's first woman chief minister, she said, “Thank you for choosing me as the leader of PDP legislature party. You all are my strength.”
Before the meeting, Mufti visited her father and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's grave in Bijbehara, Anantnag district. On Tuesday, she had triggered further speculation that talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party over government formation in Jammu and Kashmir were back on track when she said her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been "positive". BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said on Wednesday that the party had not accepted any new conditions from the PDP and that the ball was now in their court.
The PDP-BJP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir took a turn for the worse following Mohammad Sayeed's death in January this year. He died in a hospital in Delhi, after which the state came under the governor's rule. Mufti had refused to take over and maintained that BJP was violating the fundamental terms of the agreement of their alliance, a claim that the party denied.