Mufti is legislature party chief, to stake claim today | india | Hindustan Times
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Mufti is legislature party chief, to stake claim today

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was elected leader of the PDP's legislature party on Monday at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs in his Nowgam home. Interacting with mediapersons after the meeting, the PDP chief sought the help of the Central Government to help usher in peace in the troubled border state. "We seek help from the NDA government to help restore peace with full honour," he said.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2002 12:39 IST

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was elected leader of the PDP's legislature party on Monday at a meeting of the newly elected MLAs in his Nowgam home.

Interacting with mediapersons after the meeting, the PDP chief sought the help of the Central Government to help usher in peace in the troubled border state. "We seek help from the NDA government to help restore peace with full honour," he said.

About the election promise of the PDP for a dialogue with separatists, Mufti said the state government would persuade the Central government to hold unconditional talks with all sections of the state's political thought.

Mufti has a meeting with MLAs of the Congress and other allies scheduled for Wednesday, when he will formally seek resolutions in his support. PDP sources said Mufti would later meet Governor G. C. Saxena to stake claim for government formation. He is expected to take oath on November 2.

The PDP, which has 16 MLAs in the 87-member house, has reached an agreement with the Congress, Panthers Party, CPI(M) and Independent MLAs to form a government. Mufti will lead the government for three years before he passes the baton to the Congress, which has elected Ghulam Nabi Azad as its legislature party leader.

National Conference president Omar Abdullah drove over to Mufti's home on Tuesday, to congratulate the CM-in-waiting. He stayed for over half-an-hour and drank Qahwa, the traditional Kashmiri tea. A PDP spokesman said it was a courtesy call.

PDP vice-chairman Muzaffar Hussain Beg had visited Farooq Abdullah after the assembly election results were declared. The NC suffered a humiliating defeat, with Omar losing to the PDP in his home constituency Ganderbal.

Legislators from all partners in the alliance have meanwhile started lobbying for ministerial berths. A senior PDP leader said distributing portfolios was a difficult job with so many aspirants around.

"We will do whatever is in the interest of the people," he said. He said Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh would be given "proper representation" in the government.