BJP sacrifices Kashmir for 'Mission 2019'

Erika Holt
June 20, 2018

As speculation mounted over what could be the exact reason for the BJP to walk out of the alliance, BJP state president Ravinder Raina said deteriorating law and order situation was the main reason so that Governor's rule can be imposed to ensure restoration of peace and normalcy in the state.

Earlier in the day, President Ram Nath Kovind had approved imposition of Governor's rule in Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect on Wednesday, 20 June.

"We are not questioning the intentions of PDP but they have failed in improving the condition of life in Kashmir", Madhav added.

The scepticism was only strengthened after the two parties publicly took sharply divergent paths on various issues, the latest being extending conditional ceasefire beyond Ramzan and resuming anti-militancy operations in the Valley. Meanwhile, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and her ministers sent their resignations to the state's Governor, N N Vohra.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, whose party is the third biggest in the assembly, captured the drama with one sentence, "I wish Mehbooba Mufti had resigned herself. instead of the having the rug pulled from under her feet".

At no point during the meeting, however, was there the sense that Mehbooba had any idea about the BJP having chose to pull down the curtains on the government and end the "unholy" North Pole-South Pole alliance, the source said.

The assassination of prominent journalist and Rising Kashmir founder Shujaat Bukhari and his two Personal Security Officers (PSOs) in the heart of the Srinagar has raised many question marks on the police force and security agencies.

The elections in 2015 gave the PDP 28 legislators while the BJP won 25. Madhav said the brainstorming was to review the alliance's goals and targets achieved in the last three years.

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While stressing on Central government's development agenda of the state, Ram Madhav said "Central government was doing all it could for the development of Jammu and Kashmir".

Mufti wanted the ceasefire to be extended, while the BJP decided against it.

The rift in the alliance was out in the open in February after BJP ministers publicly supported alleged rapists of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Kathua district.

During this time Indian forces were also accused of using "disproportionate violence" against civilian protesters. On the other hand, the PDP's support base in Kashmir Valley has eroded because it chose the saffron party as its ally, and because of the unending killings in the Valley over the last three years.

The senior leader of the opposition Congress party, Ghulam Nabi Azad, told reporters that "the BJP has been a failure in the state and it can't escape its responsibility".

Today, however, Naem Akhter, a senior PDP minister and close confidante of Mehbooba, described the BJP's decision as "unexpected move", but added it was "politics and there is no room for emotions".

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