Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (born January 12, 1936) is the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir since November 2002. He is from the People's Democratic Party or the PDP, a Jammu and Kashmir regional party he launched in July 1999 to "persuade the Government of India to initiate an unconditional dialogue with Kashmiris for resolution of the Kashmir problem".
He has previously been a member of the Congress party. He is said to have brought about the downfall of the Farooq Abdullah led National Conference government of Jammu and Kashmir in 1984. In 1987, he quit the Congress to join V P Singh's Janta Dal, which led to his becoming the first Muslim Home Minister of India in 1989. His daughter Rubaiya was kidnapped by militants within few days of his taking office. She was released in exchange for the release of some militants.
He rejoined the Congress under P V Narasimha Rao which he left in 1999 alongwith his other daughter Mehbooba Mufti to form his own party, People's Democratic Party.
He has survived several attacks on his life by militants over the years.
Interview given to rediff.com in 1999 (http://www.rediff.com/election/1999/sep/18inter.htm)
"Mufti floats new regional party in Kashmir" (http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/jul/28mufti.htm) - article in rediff.com dated July 28, 1999
Interview given to rediff.com in June 2001 (http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/jun/05inter.htm)
Profile on BBC News dated October 29, 2002 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2369851.stm)
Post-election interview given to rediff.com in October 2002 (http://www.rediff.com/election/2002/oct/10inter.htm)
Mufti has numbers on his side 16 members of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 20 of the Congress, four of the Panthers Party, two of the CPM and three from Ladakh region that brings the total of 45, more than the majority mark in the House.
Mufti has appeased senior PDP leaders, Muzzaffar Hussain Beigh and Ghulam Hassan Mir, with the plum portfolios of finance and planning, and housing and urban development, reducing the chances of a PDP split.
Mufti said militancy in the state was destroying the vitals of the country.
Both Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti pledged to support to the new administration under Azad.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Finance Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and Tourism Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir are among the contenders for this post.
Under the power sharing agreement between the allies, Sayeed's governing PDP was to transfer control of government to the Congress on November 2, after completing three years in office to pave way for the coalition partner to head the alliance government.
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