She is reputed to have pulled her father out of political hibernation in 1999 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was formed.Even before that, Mehbooba Mufti had been a great emotional support for her father.

Mehbooba had told reporters in an exclusive interview in 2014, "In 1996, Mufti sahib was told by the Congress high command that if it could not field a candidate from our Bijbehara hometown for elections that would be a huge embarrassment.”

Militancy was at its peak and nobody was prepared to stick his neck out. I filed my papers and went out of the Valley. That is when my political baptism happened.

Baptized in the fire of Kashmir's violent times, Mehbooba Mufti has proved her nerve by refusing to be sworn in before the traditional Islamic four-day period of her father's mourning ends.

Insiders said when BJP general secretary Ram Madhav met her yesterday to express his condolences at the Chief Minister's high security Gupkar Road residence, she politely told him she was in no frame of mind to discuss politics when the family was in mourning. The state's top bureaucrats, including the chief secretary and the principal secretary to the Chief Minister, were also told the same thing when they called on her Friday.

Family sources said she has been spending most of her time with her mother. Tears well up each time somebody alludes to the times of her father. As constitutional experts keep arguing whether the absence of a government in Jammu and Kashmir is a constitutional crisis or not, for Mehbooba Mufti, politics comes much after the love and respect has for her father.

The decks already seem to have been cleared for her swearing-in by Monday or later next week.Governor, NN Vohra has faxed letters to both the PDP and the BJP to "urgently" come forward with proposals about government formation in the state. This is legally the last ditch effort by Vohra to avoid imposition of a short spell of governor's rule in the state.

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