New Delhi: As chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti will have to acquire a new political `avtar’ and harmonise her hitherto wellgroomed persona to meet the challenging responsibilities that has come to her as political head of a sensitive border state. Since the formation of PDP17 years ago, Mehbooba Mufti has positioned and remarkably succeeded as a firebrand leader and party organiser who has specialised in managing the tricky political gallery of Kashmiri politics. Whenever the PDP tried to bounce back to power, she worked as PDP’s frontline fighter against the ruling establishments and with equal ease she positioned herself as an ‘Opposition leader’ in the PDP whenever the party was part of a ruling arrangement, protecting it from the Oppositions’ attempts to weaken its political constituency.
Mehbooba Mufti has positioned & remarkably succeeded as a firebrand leader and party organiser
That cultivated space for her traditional political balancing act shrunk significantly on Monday with her decision to take the plunge after three months of political reluctance and nervous indecision. For the moment, she has little options other than carrying on with the journey her father and political mentor, Mufti Mohd Sayed, chose in the company of BJP by consciously accepting the in-built fault lines which he tried to politically camouflage with a romantic phrase: “The coming together of North Pole and South Pole.”
As Mufti Jr takes over as CM for the first time after a political career stretching almost three decades, PDP’s friends and foes are curious to find out how she will deal with the tests ahead. As the party leader, many feel, she will be required to apply balm on the wounded sentiments of her Valley constituency since PDP is in alliance with the BJP. Simultaneously, as the chief minister of the alliance government, she will have to live with the contrasting political and ideological visions, perspective and priorities of the BJP. Despite her temptations to indulge in Delhi-bashing, the new CM, like all her predecessors, will have to establish a working relationship with the Centre and the PM