Mehbooba Mufti is a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the president of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). She is the daughter of PDP founder and former J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Mehbooba Mufti became the CM after her father died and held the office from 4 April 2016 to 19 June 2018. She resigned after alliance partner BJP withdrew its support to the coalition government in the state. She was the first woman CM of the state and the second Muslim woman to hold the CM's office.
She began her political career by winning the 1996 Assembly elections in J&K on a Congress ticket from the Bijbehara constituency. Subsequently, she lost the seat to Omar Abdullah in 1999. The same year, she followed her father as he left the Indian National Congress to set up the PDP and became the vice-president of the party.
Mehbooba Mufti won the Pahalgam constituency in the 2002 Assembly election. She won the Anantnag seat in the 2004 general elections. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, she retained the Anantnag seat by defeating National Conference’s Mirza Mehboob Beg by a margin of 44,735 votes.
In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Mufti is again contesting from the Anantnag constituency. This is the first election that PDP is fighting under her leadership. There are murmurs that several quarters of the party want a male member, possibly her brother, to take over the party's reins. The upcoming polls would be a test of her mettle in silencing her critics within and outside her party. Moreover, the valley has been under President's rule for almost a year now. Assembly polls could be announced not long after the general elections. In a sense, the Lok Sabha elections then will be a semi-final that she needs to win if she has to become the CM of J&K again.