Despite loss of ally, everyone is happy

Despite loss of ally, everyone is happy

Pulling out of the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP has lost yet another ally in the NDA Alliance, but it's a break-up that seems to have made both partners happy.

However, since the PDP has only one Lok Sabha MP, the loss in terms of strength for the NDA is not a big one. When Chandrababu Naidu had walked out of the NDA, it was a loss of 16 MPs.

Out of the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP currently has MPs in three — Ladhak, Udhampur and Jammu — while the PDP, which had won three seats in 2014, has only one MP — Muzaffar Hussain Baig from Baramulla.

PDP MP from Srinagar, Tariq Hameed Karra, had resigned in October 2016 protesting against the government's failure to end violence in the Valley and blaming the PDP-BJP alliance for it.

The seat was won by NC's Farooq Abdullah in April 2017. Election still eludes the Anantnag seat vacated by Mehbooba in April 2016 after becoming the chief minister.

Ever since the coming together of the two adversarial allies, there was a perception that it was an "unnatural alliance" for the state, in which both parties have been taking positions discordant to each other for decades.

There was a view within the BJP that the continuance of the alliance could have posed a challenge before it to repeat its win of three Lok Sabha seats.

With anger against Mehbooba growing, PDP could also face a very tough situation in retaining the three seats it won in 2014. So, at the national level, it was not working.

Besides, the Congress and other Opposition parties were frequently targeting the BJP for its alliance with the hardliner PDP, a campaign which have could have reached a peak during 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

With no significant improvement on the terror front in the state, a view was growing in the BJP that the PDP was, of late, becoming a "liability" for the ruling alliance at the Centre as it came in the way of the hardliner nationalistic politics of the BJP.

Even in PDP, the voice against the alliance with the BJP was growing and immediately after the BJP withdrew support, Mufti went to town asserting that a "muscular policy" won't work for Jammu and Kashmir.

In April this year, Mehbooba's brother and a minister in the state government, Tasaduq Mufti, had said that the PDP had ended being partners in crime (with the BJP) and that people no longer trust them.

Incidentally, when BJP and PDP tied up in 2015 to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir, PDP's founder Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had described the coming together as "North Pole and South Pole".

The break-up stresses on how apt Sayeed's description is even years after his death.