Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died on Thursday in Delhi's AIIMS hospital where he was admitted in a critical condition in December, ANI reported.
The 79-year-old was flown to Delhi from Srinagar on 24 December and admitted to the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences for severe chest infection, and complaints of severe fever and neck pain, according to a PTI report.
He was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital on 30 December and his condition was reported as "critical but stable". In the diagnosis, the AIIMS stated that Sayeed had "decreased blood counts, pneumonia and sepsis".
Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah conveyed his condolences to Sayeed's family soon after the reports of his death emerged.
"Just heard the terrible terrible news of Mufti Sahib's passing away. I'm shocked and deeply saddened. May he rest in peace. My heart felt sympathies to Mrs Syed, Mehbooba and the entire family in this most difficult of times. My and my family's prayers are with them," Abdullah said in a couple of tweets.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed their condolences at the demise of Sayeed.
"Heartfelt condolences on the passing away of J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed," ANI quoted Mukherjee as saying.
"Deeply pained to learn of J&K CM Shri Mufti Mohd Sayeed's demise. He was known for his love for common people, specially the underprivileged. Mufti Sayeed ji had a wonderful understanding of complex issues pertaining to J&K. He wanted to bring permanent peace to the valley," Singh said in a series of tweets.
"The demise of Shri Mufti Sayeed is an irreparable loss to Jammu and Kashmir. His departure has also left a big void in national politics," he said in another tweet.
Next Chief Minister
Sayeed's daughter Mehbooba Mufti, who is now the chief of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is reported to step in as the new chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir.
PDP senior leader and government spokesman Naeem Akhtar had on Wednesday said that Mehbooba had been unanimously chosen to lead the state if such circumstances arise. He had said Mufti Sayeed was also in support of handing over the reins to her, The Times of India reported.
"... Mufti Sahab has himself been saying that Mehbooba Mufti is the right person to lead. There is a complete consensus in the party on it because she is the right leader as she represents aspirations of the cadre and is an undisputed leader. She has been voice and faith of PDP," TOI quoted Akhtar as saying.
The BJP was also reported to have agreed to the PDP's choice for the next chief minister.
In March last year, the BJP and PDP agreed to form an alliance to rule the state of Jammu & Kashmir.