Sonrise In Mufti’s Family?

Mehbooba tutoring Mufti’s son Tassaduq Hussain to take the political plunge 

Srinagar : The delay in government formation in Jammu and Kashmir seems to have a lot to do with PDP President Mehbooba Mufti trying to ensure that the reins of power within her party remains with the Mufti family. While officially the PDP maintains that it is reviewing the implementation of the Agenda of Alliance during the 10-month coalition government with BJP, Mehbooba has devoted her energies over the past week to introducing her younger brother to the politics of the state in the aftermath of their father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s death on January 7.

The PDP president is keen that Tassaduq Hussain — an ace cinematographer of ‘Omkara’ fame — shoulders some responsibilities of managing the party.

The 44-year-old only son of the late chief minister made a silent appearance at the meeting of the PDP Core Group last Sunday where Mehbooba was authorised to take the final call with regard to government formation in the state, reports PTI.

“He had been reluctant to even think about politics while Mufti sahib was alive, but of late he has shown some inclination towards joining active politics,” a senior PDP leader said on the condition of anonymity. Given the powers enjoyed by a party president in Jammu and Kashmir under its stringent anti-defection law, Mehbooba wants to hand over the reins to somebody close and Tassaduq seems to have emerged as the ideal choice.

The state anti-defection law, passed by the Assembly in 2007, does not provide for any defection — not even if the number of defectors are one-third, or more, of a party’s strength of MLAs as provided in the national Act.

Former Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri feels that the state anti-defection law makes the post of party president very powerful. “When the House is in session, the MLAs are bound to follow the whips of their respective parties or face disqualification,” he said. While there was no official word on Tassaduq taking the political plunge, the circumstances might force him to play a more active role, at least within the party.

Tassaduq further fueled speculation about him joining active politics when he spoke at an informal meeting of PDP leaders at Mehbooba’s residence to mark the 15th day of Sayeed’s death. PDP insiders believe that Tassaduq was making a soft entry into politics as he chose to speak about environment, rather than politics, at the meeting. “He did not talk politics. His speech was focused on the environment and the need to preserve it,” said a PDP MLA who was present at the

meeting.

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