Despite being a stalwart in Indian political arena, the career of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the People’s Democratic Party founder member was filled with many controversies.
However, condolences poured in from all quarters following the death of a great political luminary who served twice as the CM of the volatile state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed in 1989
An incident that send ripples across the nation. On December 8, the militant outfit Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front abducted Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s daughter and demanded the release of five of their terrorists.
The government had to succumb to the demands and release the terrorist. This did create a lot of controversies with political pundits giving various opinions about the incident.
Joining hands with BJP
However, his decision to join hands with BJP and sweep polls in 2015 took many by surprise.
But it was on the cards as earlier, the stalwart stood firm against the Abdullah family’s exclusive dominance over Kashmir’s politics and opposed the Rajiv-Farooq accord through which the Congress forced an NC-Congress alliance.
This decision also made a huge breakthrough with the country witnessing a separatist becoming a minister. Sajjad Gani Lone who was actively involved in separatist movement took oath under the Sayeed regime in the state.
AFSPA in Jammu & Kashmir
The implementation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act in 1990 drew widespread criticism from various quarters across the globe. While some termed it as draconian, others backed it calling it a ‘necessary evil’. Undoubtedly, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s decision drew a lot of flak but he came to defend it saying the Act was clamped to curb the growing insurgency in the region which was facilitating terrorism.
The Flag Controversy 2015
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed got entangled in another sensitive controversy when his government withdrew the circular directing constitutional authorities to maintain the sanctity of the state flag, saying it was not approved by a “competent authority”. Unlike other Indian states, Jammu and Kashmir has a separate constitution and a separate flag.
Notably, BJP has been against the theory of different flags.
Pakistan, militant and polls controversy
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed triggered off yet another controversy in 2015 when he stated that Pakistan, the Hurriyat, and militants allowed a congenial atmosphere for holding the assembly polls in the state.
His statement irked many including Omar Abdullah.