PDP dismisses rumours of change of guard in J&K

Mufti still in AIIMS, his health triggers speculation

As rumours about health conditions of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and change of guard are making rounds in the state, ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday dismissed speculation that party president Mehbooba Mufti is taking over the reins of the power.

“It is not even being discussed because she is totally focused on the well being of her father,” government spokesman and Education Minister, Nayeem Akhtar told Deccan Herald.

However, he was quick to add that there was complete consensus in the party on Mehbooba becoming Chief Minister whenever there will be change of guard.

“As of now, there is no such move. But, obviously, Mufti Sahab has himself been saying that Mehbooba is the right person to lead. There is a complete consensus in the party on it because she is the right leader,” Akhtar said.

Terming the rumours about Chief Minister’s deteriorating health wrong and baseless, he said, “Mufti sahab is in the same condition as he was yesterday. He has responded to treatment. But some fake accounts on social media are spreading rumours about his health.”

However, a senior PDP leader wishing anonymity said party wants Mehbooba to take over as CM soon as possible.

“Since Mufti has not delegated powers of the Chief Minister to anyone, including his Deputy CM Nirmal Singh, we don’t want to face the opposition during the Budget Session headless,” he said.

The Budget Session begins on January 18.
The leader said they were in constan.t touch with the BJP high command in Delhi over the possibility of Mehbooba taking reigns of power before the Budget Session.

Mufti has been battling a severe chest infection in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi since December 24.

On Wednesday leading English daily of the state had to carry a clarification after a Facebook page, in its name, carried a news flash that Mufti has expired in Delhi.

“Greater Kashmir denies any association with such fake Facebook pages and messages and wants our readers to follow and like only our official Facebook account which is verified by Facebook. Our organisation has also registered a case under Information Technology Act against people operating fake Facebook pages in the name of Greater Kashmir,” the disclaimer carried by the newspaper on its website reads.

AIIMS spokesperson Dr Amit Gupta had reportedly said that Mufti is hemodynamically stable but requires respiratory support.

“His condition warrants close monitoring,” he said.

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