Wednesday, February 21, 2024

J&K: BJP snaps alliance; Mehbooba resigns

BJP on Tuesday ended its three-year-old alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and pulled out of the PDP-led Jammu and Kashmir government, setting the stage for yet another round of Governor’s rule.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav made the surprise announcement after the party high command summoned its Jammu and Kashmir ministers for emergency consultations in New Delhi. A few hours later, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation to Governor N N Vohra.
Madhav said: “It has become untenable for the BJP to continue in the alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir. “Under such circumstances, the BJP was left with no other option, but to pull out of the alliance,” he said at a press conference. Madhav said there was a growing sense of discrimination within the other two regions of the state.
He said the decision was taken after consulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.  He also denied that the decision was taken because the BJP was losing ground. In a press statement released on Tuesday evening, the BJP accused the state government of showing little interest in improving the state’s law and order condition.
‘No muscular policy’
In her first reaction after BJP’s pullout, PDP’s Mehobboba Mufti said she was not “shocked” at the development. She also said she was “not looking to explore any other alliance”.
“I am not shocked. We didn’t do this alliance for power. This alliance had a bigger motive—unilateral ceasefire, PM’s visit to Pakistan, withdrawal of 11,000 cases against stone-pelters, etc., ” she said. She claimed the PDP’s alliance with the BJP hurt her party. Presenting her point of view, Mehbooba said the PDP has always maintained that a muscular security policy would not work in J&K.
Omar for early polls
National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday his party would not form the government because they did not have the mandate, instead called for Governor’s rule and early elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We did not have mandate in 2014 and we do not have mandate in 2018,” Abdullah said after he met Governor. “I have told the Governor that since no party has the mandate to form government, he will have to impose Governor’s rule in the state,” Abdullah said. 
Oppn slams BJP pullout
Congress on Tuesday accused the BJP of ruining the situation in Kashmir and then pulling out of the alliance government at its convenience. It also ruled out the possibility of an alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP.
“The opportunistic BJP-PDP alliance set fire to J&K, killing many innocent people including our brave soldiers. It cost India strategically & destroyed years of UPA’s hard work,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet on Tuesday evening.
“Whatever has happened is good. People of Jammu and Kashmir will get some relief. They (BJP) ruined Kashmir and have now pulled out,” said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal pointed out that Modi government had claimed that demonetisation in 2016 had broken the back of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir but that did not seem true. 
CPI (M) criticised the BJP’s for its timing, saying its decision to pull out of the government would push the state deeper into instability.

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