"Saddened by the death of Mufti Sahib. He has passed away when the country and the state (J&K) needed him the most. A true statesman amongst the politicians of the current era," Jaitley tweeted.

79-year-old Sayeed passed away at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) this morning after suffering multiple organ failure. He was admitted in a private ward at the AIIMS on December 24 after he complained of fever and chest pain.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) has announced that party president Mehbooba Mufti would take over as the Chief Minister.

Sayeed, who was born in 1936 in Bijbehara, Jammu and Kashmir, had previously served as Chief Minister from 2002 to 2005. He was also the Home Minister of India from December 1989 to November 1990.

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