Bharatiya Janata Party’s sudden pull out from an alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir left everyone stunned on Tuesday. While BJP cited state government’s failure to implement development agenda and rising radicalisation as top reasons behind the decision, the PDP leadership was facing internal pressure to take a similar decision. Yet, it can be said that not the decision, but its timing has surprised all. The decision comes a year before the state will go Lok Sabha elections, with both PDP and the BJP facing huge discontent from their respective core votebank in the state. On this juncture, it is difficult to draw an exact conclusion as to why the two parties called off their ties, however, there are a number of flashpoints in previous years that surely contributed to the final break-up.
What made PDP re-think about the alliance
Centre’s muscular policy in the Valley
Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP always Opposed a muscular policy in the valley. However, Modi-led Centre resorted to a ‘tit-for-tat’ agenda against terror elements ever since they came to power. As per reports, more than 300 terrorists have been neutralised so far in the valley. The same has dealt a blow to Mehbooba’s vote bank. “We had always said muscular security policy will not work in J-K, reconciliation is key,” Mehbooba said in her first press conference after resigning as the chief minister.
Special Status to Jammu and Kashmir
Abolition of Article 370 has been an in-principle agenda for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the same was also mentioned in its manifesto. However, the saffron party cited Constitutional obligations for not being able to materialise its promise. Later, it entered in an alliance with the PDP, a party which portrayed itself as the saviour of Article 370 – the
Special Status to Jammu and Kashmir. On Tuesday, Mehbooba began her press conference by raising Article 370 and said “…we have safeguarded Article 370 and 35-A (of the Constitution) and we will continue to do that”.
PDP was reportedly miffed at with the Centre’s decision to suspend Ramzaan ceasefire suspension. On Monday, the Centre announced that operations against militants will be commenced again. Earlier, the Centre announced the ceasefire of operations gainst terrorists for the month of Ramzan as a goodwill gesture. “The government has decided not to extend the ceasefire announced at the beginning of Ramazan. On May 17, the government had taken the decision that the security forces will not take offensive operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramazan. This decision was taken in the interests of the peace loving people of the state.,” Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh said on Sunday.
Why BJP puled out
In the press conference Tuesday, the BJP blamed the PDP for failing to improve the security conditions in the Kashmir Valley. Madhav cited last week’s killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in the heart of Srinagar in the highly secured area of Press Enclave by unidentified gunmen. Also, an Army jawan was abducted while going on Eid leave and killed on the same day. “It has become untenable for the BJP to continue in the alliance government in the state,” Madhav said at the hurriedly called press conference after a meeting with state BJP leaders and ministers who were summoned to the national capital with little notice.
The BJP also sought to blame PDP for an incident of rising terrorism in the valley. “Terrorism, violence and radicalism have risen and the fundamental rights of citizens, including right to life and free speech, are in danger,” Ram Madhav said in a press conference. A number of reports suggest that the BJP-PDP dispensation failed to control terror in the valley and saw a rise of oiver 60 per cent in incidents of terror.