Kashmir set for first lady chief minister: Mehbooba’s leadership’s style

Women In Politics: Mehbooba Mufti

Mehbooba Mufti, President of PDP & daughter of late Chief minister of Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is a powerful leader.  Mother of two daughters who started her career back in 1996 and has never lost an election ever (from south Kashmir). The state has been under Governor’s Rule since Sayeed’s father died earlier in January. She was chosen to succeed her deceased father. Mehbooba is currently member of Lok Sabha, representing Anantnag Constituency of Kashmir.

While the PDP has 27 seats in the assembly, BJP has 25. While political mudslinging continues, here’s a look at Mehbooba’s career and some of her most defining leadership traits.

  • Fifty-six-year-old Mehbooba Mufti, president of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and unquestionably the most firebrand among Jammu & Kashmir’s mainstream politicians.
  • Mehbooba is known to be stern on her terms of dealing with her political contemporaries and is a tough negotiator. She is known in the state for her confidence, and working under pressure.
  • A law graduate from the University of Kashmir, Mehbooba is amongst one of the most recognised Indian female leaders in politics
  • Mehbooba played a key role in her father’s victory as Congress candidate in Lok Sabha elections of 1998 when Sayeed defeated NC’s Mohammad Yousuf Taing from south Kashmir.
  • When elections for the state assembly were held in 1996, Mehbooba became one of the most popular members elected from Bijbehara on an Indian National Congress ticket. Her father had at that time returned to the Congress, which he had left in 1987
  • The Hindi reports she has had her share of detractors in the saffron ranks for several reasons, including her passionate espousal of her party’s ‘self-rule’ concept, which used to be dubbed “as soft separatism” by many in the BJP.
1996 – 99  Leader, Congress Legislature Party, Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly
2002-2004  Member, Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly for the 2nd Term
2004  Elected to 14th Lok Sabha
2009  President of Jammu & Kashmir People’s Democratic Party
2014  Re-elected to 16th Lok Sabha

The Mufti family with some key associates setup their own regional party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999. While often the media puts the spotlight on Mehbooba’s anger and her strong political statements, she is in the spotlight for reflecting maturing and political acumen while dealing with alliances and positions of power.