5 reasons why BJP dumped PDP in Jammu and Kashmir
It is over in Jammu and Kashmir. The "unnatural alliance" between the BJP and the PDP has fallen apart. The BJP today pulled out of the Mehbooba Mufti government of Jammu and Kashmir.
The decision to walk out of the Jammu and Kashmir government was taken in a meeting convened by BJP president Amit Shah. The meeting was attended by all the BJP ministers in the Jammu and Kashmir government.
BJP state chief Ravinder Raina and party general secretary in charge of organisation Ashok Kaul were also present in the meeting held in New Delhi.
The BJP-PDP alliance had strained over a range of issues with the saffron party ministers and leaders in Jammu and Kashmir complaining against Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's style of functioning. The BJP leaders alleged that Mufti had been taking unilateral decisions.
Here are the five reasons that led to BJP-PDP break up:
Mehbooba's Kashmir-centric approach
At the time of formation of the BJP-PDP government in 2015, the election had resulted in a fractured mandate. The BJP won a majority of seats in Jammu while PDP emerged largest in the Kashmir Valley. But with Mehbooba Mufti replacing father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed after the latter's death, the BJP resented an increasing focus of the government on Kashmir Valley.
The BJP complained that under Mehbooba Mufti, Kashmir Valley was being pampered at the cost of other regions of the state. The BJP does not have a strong presence in the Kashmir Valley while the regions of its influence were being allegedly ignored. The BJP felt cornered in Jammu region which is the stronghold of the party.
Rise in militancy
The BJP said that the Mehbooba Mufti government failed to contain militancy and radicalisation of youth in the Kashmir Valley. "The situation in Kashmir Valley has deteriorated. Radicalisation is on rise," Ram Madhav, the BJP general secretary and incharge of Jammu and Kashmir, said today in New Delhi.
The decision to withdraw from the government came a day after suspension of ceasefire in Kashmir Valley. Mehbooba Mufti is understood to have demanded extension of ceasefire in Kashmir Valley. The Centre had suspended operations against the terrorist outfits during Ramzan.
However, terror activities continued in the Valley. Noted journalist Shujaat Bukhari and army jawan Aurangzeb were killed by the terrorists during the period of ceasefire in Kashmir Valley.
Kathua rape and murder
Rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua was a big dampener for the BJP-PDP alliance. The PDP was critical of the BJP being soft on the alleged party supporters of the accused. The local BJP leaders wanted a CBI inquiry into the incident while Mehbooba Mufti preferred probe by Jammu and Kashmir police.
In the days following Kathua rape and murder, the BJP was being seen losing ground in Jammu region. The incident had gained a communal twist with rallies being held in support and against the accused.
Unilateral decisions by Mehbooba Mufti
The BJP leaders of Jammu and Kashmir are believed to have complained to the central leadership that Mehbooba Mufti was taking unilateral decisions in the matter of governance and the saffron party was not being given due importance.
PDP took unilateral decision to release stone pelters, not to relocate Bakkarwalas from the government's land and doling out land grants to religious outfit Ahle Hadees. On the other hand, the BJP could not secure any relief for those named in cases filed in incidents related to Amarnath land movement.
2019 Lok Sabha Elections
Resolving Kashmir issue was one of the poll promises of the BJP in 2014. However, the situation on the ground has worsened in the last four years - both in the Valley and along the Line of Control. In a year's time, the BJP will be seeking votes and if the situation in Kashmir Valley doesn't improve, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image of a strong leader would take a beating.
The BJP-led government has advocated a hawkish policy towards Kashmiri separatists and militants. The PDP was being seen as an obstruction in carrying out anti-terror plans devised by the security forces. With Governor's rule in Jammu and Kashmir, the Modi government would be in a better position to implement its policy to tackle separatism and militancy in the Valley.