NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday pulled out of the government in Jammu and Kashmir and ended its three-year-old alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Announcing the decision to end the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP national secretary Ram Madhav said that continuing in the alliance had become “untenable” for the party.
“Violence increased in the Valley… fundamental rights are under threat… radicalisation has increased,” Mr Madhav said point to the factors behind the saffron party’s decision to quit the alliance.
The BJP blamed PDP supremo and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the deteriorating law and order situation and “rise in radicalism” in the state but said once ‘normalcy’ returns the political process can be again taken forward.
Replying to queries at the press conference, Mr. Madhav said: “It is time that the matter (governance) is taken over by the Governor and the situation is restored to normalcy.’’
Besides deteriorating law and order situation, he said the “rise in radicalisation and terrorism are also matters of concern” for his party. He said the party’s decision was came in the “larger national interest”.
The BJP leader who had played a key role in stitching the alliance with the PDP said under the Mehbooba ministry the developmental works have been inadequate in two other regions of the border State — Ladakh and Jammu. “We needed much more to be done for Ladakh and Jammu, we find that happening to our satisfaction”.
Mr. Madhav said “Suspension of military operations during holy month of Ramzan was announced as a good gesture. This was done from a position of strength. This opportunity was not accepted ….so to bring things under control, we have taken today’s decision”. He defended BJP’s original decision to share power with PDP saying that was done only to respect the mandate of the people.
The BJP’s decision to exit the government in J&K came within days of the brutal killing of senior journalist and editor of Rising Kashmir English daily Shujaat Bukhari in the heart of Srinagar. Mr Bukhari was gunned down by unidentified assailants a day before Eid and his funeral witnessed participation from thousands of people in Baramulla. His two personal security guards were also killed by the assailants. On the same day, a soldier Aurangzeb was abducted as he was on way home to Poonch to celebrate Eid with his family. His bullet riddled body was later found from jungles in Pulwama.
“After the killing of Shujaat, there was no question of not continuing anti-terror operations,” Mr. Madhav said. In a number of tweets on Sunday, Union Home Miniter Rajnath Singh said that security forces had been directed to resume operations, indicating that the Ramzan ceasefire would not be extended.
While the BJP has 25 MLAs and the PDP 28 in the 89-member Assembly, the Congress has 12 members. The party has already ruled out an alliance with the PDP. The National Conference has 15 seats and its supremo and former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “And so it has come to pass.’’
Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti has submitted her resignation to the Governor N N Vohra.