Srinagar: Even as suspense continues over next government formation, late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s family has vacated the official bungalow of the Chief Minister in Jammu, leading to questions as to what his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti could be up to.
Begum Gulshan, wife of the late leader and mother of Mehbooba, visited the bungalow at Wazarat Road in Jammu city on January 18, just 11 days after Sayeed’s demise, and took away the family belongings.
“Mufti Sahab ceased to be the Chief Minister and on 18th of this month, the family got its all personal belongings from that house in the best traditions of public conduct,” PDP spokesman and former Minister Naeem Akhtar told reporters.
“There is nothing political about it. This is a normal practice..Mufti Sahab had always batted for this,” he said, adding “It is the designated house of the Chief Minister. How can someone who is not a Chief Minister stay there?”
This assumes significance as Mehbooba is expected to be the next Chief Minister as PDP is the largest party in the Assembly even though she has maintained suspense over the issue.
PDP, which has 27 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly, ran a 10-month coalition government with BJP headed by Sayeed before his demise on January 7.
According to rules, official accommodation can be retained for one month after a person ceases to be the Chief Minister, said an official of the state government. There was no handover and takeover with the family of deceased Chief Minister, said an official of the Estates Department which is responsible for allocation of government accommodations.
“Whatever may be technicalities, they have taken all of their belongings. That means that they have vacated it,” the official added. “This is an exceptional case… Mufti sahib’s wife had come to official CM’s residence and took away all of the family belongings,” the official said.