Kashmir pull-out BJP's strategy for LS polls: report

In a report on its visit to Jammu and Kashmir for five days from the day PDP-BJP government fell on June 19, the Concerned Citizens' Group (CCG) led by veteran leader Yashwant Sinha said the feeling in the valley is that the BJP-led Centre would now take a more "belligerent" position on issues like Article 35(A) and give up ambiguity on Article 370 that provides special status to J&K. PTI photo

Most Kashmiris believe that the manner in which the BJP “masterminded” the fall of the PDP-led coalition government had little to do with the situation in the state, a high profile citizens' group said on Friday.

It was part of a “grand strategy” with an eye on the Lok Sabha elections.

In a report on its visit to Jammu and Kashmir for five days from the day PDP-BJP government fell on June 19, the Concerned Citizens' Group (CCG) led by veteran leader Yashwant Sinha said the feeling in the valley is that the BJP-led Centre would now take a more "belligerent" position on issues like Article 35(A) and give up ambiguity on Article 370 that provides special status to J&K.

"The local perception is that the withdrawal of support was part of a grand strategy of the BJP with an eye on the 2019 General Election...The common perception was that the Modi government had nothing much to showcase in terms of achievements for the 2019 election, there were no new fault lines emerging in Indian polity which could be exploited electorally.

"...hence the fall-back option of using Kashmir to communally polarise electorate in the state as well as in the rest of India. The Kashmiris think that the harder the slap on their face, the better the electoral fallout in the rest of India. Most are reconciled, however, to the fact that they have been reduced to a pawn in the larger politics of the BJP," the report said.

Besides Sinha, the team included former chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, former Air Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation Executive Director Sushobha Barve and senior journalist Bharat Bhushan.

“There was a sense of dejection and expectation of worse to come as the discourse on Kashmir seemed to be becoming more aggressive by the day,” it said.

The report also claimed that the suspension of anti-military operations during Ramzan was announced without any preparation and had no roadmap and its objective was unclear. However, the decrease in civilian killing and stone-pelting incidents created a positive feeling among the common man.

The imposition of the Governor's rule after the BJP pulled out of the coalition government was met with concern, as they “did not seem to have high expectations” from it. “They also believed that the previous placatory language of a need for a dialogue with all stakeholders would now be dropped and anti-militancy operations would continue in full swing,” the report said.

The killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari appeared to have resulted in a “retreat” of the civil society in Kashmir, as people “feared the silencing of non-partisan voices”.

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Kashmir pull-out BJP's strategy for LS polls: report

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