BJP pulls out of alliance with PDP in J&K

Last Updated 21 September 2018, 11:52 IST

Jammu and Kashmir is headed for Governor's Rule with BJP on Tuesday making a surprise announcement to pull out from the alliance with PDP holding the latter "responsible" for growing radicalisation and discrimination under Mehbooba Mufti regime.

Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba resigned soon after the BJP said her government "failed" in dealing with the situation and demanding that the handing of the reins of the state to the Governor. The announcement came after a meeting party president Amit Shah had with leaders from Kashmir after consultations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Simmering differences over a variety of issues, the latest being the Centre's decision not to extend non initiation of offensive action against militants and handling of Kathua gangrape case, over a period of time had led to the culmination of the divorce between the two parties, which are ideologically on diverse poles.

The chances of a new government in the state is unlikely as National Conference and Congress said they were not willing to form government. In the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, PDP has 28 legislators, BJP 25, National Conference 15, Congress 12, Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference 2, CPI 1, Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Front 1 and Independents 3.

With this move, the government is set to up the anti-military operations in the valley as there is a perception that terrorism has grown taking advantage of the recent suspension of anti-militant operations.

BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said the party reached at this decision after going through the inputs it "gathered from the Central government, the Ministry of Home Affairs and central agencies" and felt that it has become "totally untenable" to continue in the PDP-led government. Earlier in the day, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met Shah to brief him about the situation in the troubled state.

"Violence has increased, there is growing radicalisation, the fundamental rights like the right to life and free speech are in danger in Kashmir valley, there is growing sense of discrimination of Jammu and Ladhak regions... responsibility of this situation lies with the other side (PDP)," Madhav, who was flanked by state BJP leaders, told a press conference.

He said the BJP had joined hands with the PDP with the objectives of restoring peace in Kashmir and encouraging fast development in the state but found to its dismay that despite support from the Centre, PDP failed to control the situation. He particularly referred to the recent killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari last week and rued that culprits could not be arrested after so many days.

Pitching for Governor's Rule in the state, Madhav said it was "sad to note" that the "leader of the government was not successful" in addressing these concerns while insisting that he was "not questioning" the intentions.

"The state government failed. Keeping in mind the larger national interest, integrity and security of the country, that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, in order to bring control in the state, we have decided it is time that the reins of power in the state be handed over to the Governor," he said. Asked what changed as only recently BJP inducted a new Deputy Chief Minister and Speaker after the row over Kathua gangrape case, Madhav said their hope was that they could work together but the situation changed.

"Centre did everything for the Valley. We've tried to put a full-stop to the ceasefire violations by Pakistan. PDP has not been successful in fulfilling its promises. Our leaders have been facing a lot of difficulties from PDP in developmental works in Jammu and Ladakh," Madhav said.

(Published 19 June 2018, 09:14 IST)

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