Thursday, October 31, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Mufti invited to form govt
Submits list of 52 members, including 10 Independents
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 30
The Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Mr Girish Chandra Saxena, here today invited the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, to form the government in the state. This will end the temporary phase of the Governor’s rule imposed in the state following the refusal of the former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, to continue as caretaker after the expiry of the last Assembly on October 17 last.

Mufti Sayeed, who was formally elected as legislature party leader of the PDP here yesterday, will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on Saturday. The swearing-in ceremony will be attended among others by the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, instrumental in working out the agreement between her party and the PDP to end the stalemate since the declaration of election results here on October 10.

Soon after the PDP leader, Mufti Sayeed, accompanied by three leaders of other coalition parties, staked his claim to form the government with the support of 52 MLAs, the Governor said he was satisfied with the claim to provide a “stable government” in the state. Mr Saxena said he was satisfied that Mufti Sayeed enjoyed the support of the majority of the elected members of the Assembly and that he would provide a stable government.

Earlier, Mufti Sayeed, accompanied by his coalition partners, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, Mr Bhim Singh of the Panthers Party and Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami of the CPM, drove to Raj Bhavan at about 5.30 p.m. this evening to stake the long-awaited claim to form the government in the state. The stalemate over the formation of a coalition government mainly by the Congress with 20 elected members and the PDP with 16 members continued for over 16 days ending Saturday last in New Delhi. This followed extensive rounds of negotiations between the Congress and the PDP leadership to reach an agreement to form a coalition government in the state.

The PCC chief and CLP leader, Mr Azad, who returned here from Jammu after visiting New Delhi, later said the leaders of the four parties, led by Mufti Sayeed, handed over a list of 52 members to the state Governor. These included 20 members of the Congress, 16 MLAs of the PDP, four from the Panthers Party, two from the CPM and 10 other Independents of the Democratic People’s Forum (DPF). A strength of 44 members in the 87-member House is required to form a government in the state.


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