Jammu: Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is no more, leaving behind the Jammu and Kashmir chief ministership vacant.
His demise at AIIMS in Delhi early on Thursday paves the way for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti to take over the reins of the state.
Sayeed had been battling a severe chest infection in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi for the last 15 days.
The state has a deputy chief minister who belongs to the BJP and as per precedence, Nirmal Singh can look after the day-to-day affairs of governance in the absence of the chief minister.
Yet, the administrative vacuum has to be filled as soon as possible.
"If power has to be handed over to Mehbooba Mufti a constitutional process has to be followed,” IANS quoted renowned constitutional expert Zafar Shah as saying.
"First, the PDP legislature party will have to elect her as its leader. Then a letter will have to be sent to the state governor by her claiming a majority in the 87-member.”
"This letter will have to be accompanied by a letter of support by the BJP allies of the PDP in the Assembly or else, the PDP can elect her as the leader of the legislature party and the governor would administer her oath of office as acting chief minister asking her to prove majority on the floor of the house within 15 days.”
"Since she is presently not a member of either the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council, Mehbooba Mufti will have to either get elected to the Assembly or be nominated as a member of the council," Shah added.
Shah also said there is no provision of a caretaker chief minister in the state Constitution.