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BJP dumps PDP — Escapism at its best

BJP’s decision to discontinue its alliance with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has evoked sharp criticism from the opposition parties. According to them, BJP has taken this decision with an eye on the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has criticised BJP and said that the party had committed a “Himalayan blunder” by forming a government with the PDP. He said that BJP should not have allied with PDP. He stated that regional parties should have been permitted to form an alliance among themselves. Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too posted comments against BJP on his Twitter handle and mentioned, “After ruining it, BJP pulls out of Kashmir.”

Jammu and Kashmir Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir stated, “They have formed an unethical coalition government and lacked people’s mandate. Day by day more soldiers are becoming martyrs in Kashmir. BJP’s policies have failed completely so they tried to adopt shortcut methods by calling off the alliance with PDP.”

“If BJP has taken this decision in the national interest, then why did not they think about it three years back? They are unable to restore peace in Kashmir. They came into the power by promising to construct Ram temple, the abolition of Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code but they have failed to fulfil them,” he added further.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said, “It has become untenable for the BJP to continue with the alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir. Terrorism and violence have increased and fundamental rights of citizens are under threat in the valley.” Later People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir to state governor N N Vohra. Criticising the centre’s policy she said, “We had not entered into this alliance for power. The healing touch policy of PDP is the only policy which will work in Jammu and Kashmir. The muscular policy will not work in Kashmir.”

National Conference MLA Shamim Firdous said, “BJP-PDP alliance didn’t augur well for Kashmir’s development. Peace has disrupted in the state and people were unhappy with the government. Both parties came together for forming the government but they didn’t work for the welfare of the people. BJP might be blaming PDP for poor governance but they too are equally responsible for misrule in Kashmir. I hope peace is restored in Kashmir in future.”

Ever since the BJP had sealed alliance with PDP two years back differences have cropped up between both the parties over various issues pertaining to governing the state. People’s Democratic Party leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had then termed the BJP-PDP alliance as a meeting of “North Pole and South Pole.” Despite differences, Sayeed had mentioned that the alliance should work in the interest of the people.

Congress spokesperson Dr. Ratnakar Mahajan said, “Basically BJP is trying to run away from their responsibilities. BJP has failed to restore peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir despite having deputy chief minister and home minister of their party. Now they are blaming Mehbooba Mufti for the crisis prevailing in the state. They have failed to restore peace, promote development and offer employment opportunities to the youth.”

PDP had emerged as the single largest party by winning 28 seats while BJP bagged 25 seats. Since both BJP and PDP have ideological differences it became difficult for both the parties to continue with the alliance. PDP had disapproved of the centre’s decision to end the ceasefire after Ramzan. The party was in favour of extending the ceasefire whereas centre discontinued it taking into consideration the rising terror attacks in the region. On the occasion of Eid renowned journalist Shujaat Bukhari and Army jawan Aurangzeb were killed.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP Vice President Bharat Bhushan said, “Our central leadership decided to withdraw support to PDP after consulting with Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. It is a big decision taken by our party and I support it. This decision has been taken in national interest. This decision comes in the jurisdiction of BJP’s central leadership; hence, I can’t comment further about it.”

BJP has blamed PDP for rising terror attacks and violence in Kashmir. How can BJP hold PDP responsible for increasing violence when it was in alliance with the latter? There are several other issues which had affected the functioning of the alliance. While BJP backed the abolition of Article 370, PDP demanded greater autonomy for Kashmir. BJP supported AFSPA for curtailing insurgency in the region but PDP called for its removal. BJP had also promised to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits who had to leave the state in 1989.  However, the party has failed to fulfil the promises made by it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Kashmir several times but he has failed to visit the Pandit settlements in Jammu. According to the sources, former commander of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps Lieutenant General (Retired) Syed Ata Hasnain is likely to be appointed as the next Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

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