BJP general secretary Ram Madhav at a press conference announcing that BJP has pulled out from the Jammu and Kashmir government. (Shekhar Yadav | EPS)
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav at a press conference announcing that BJP has pulled out from the Jammu and Kashmir government. (Shekhar Yadav | EPS)

J-K government collapse: What prompted BJP to divorce its ally PDP

According to sources PDP was mulling strategy to walk-out from the coalition government over non extension of ceasefire and BJP getting to know of it pre-empted its own move.

SRINAGAR: The insistence of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti to continue with the unilateral ceasefire in the State, the PDP's reported move to pull-out of the coalition government and loosing of ground by the saffron party in its base in Jammu prompted the BJP to withdraw support to PDP and recommend Governor's rule in Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP insiders said that after the Ramadan ceasefire in the State was called off by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday, Mehbooba had been pressing for continuation of the truce. "She had been pressing the central government to continue the ceasefire saying civilian killings during security forces operations don't help in improvement of the situation in Kashmir and instead aggravate the situation," they said.

There was a decline in violence during the Ramadan as security forces halted their active anti-militancy operations. However, militants continued their attacks and two days before Eid, assassinated senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in city centre Lal Chowk and also abducted and killed an army man in south Kashmir.

Sources in PDP said the Ramadan ceasefire had generated hope that it would lead to start of dialogue process between central government and separatists. "However, the centre did not directly invite separatists for talks. The separatists for the first time had expressed readiness in holding talks with centre by not attaching any condition.

We feel Ramadan ceasefire was a half-hearted effort by centre," they said. The PDP, they said, was disappointed over not extending of ceasefire by centre. "It was really a setback for peace process and our agenda has always remained to act as a bridge between centre and separatists".

Sources said disappointed over non extension of ceasefire, PDP was mulling strategy to walk-out from the coalition government. "The PDP leaders were going to meet in next few days to decide on the pull-out from the coalition government," they said.

The BJP, sources said, got a know of it and pre-empted its own move. "The BJP president Amit Shah yesterday evening summoned all State BJP ministers and party leaders to New Delhi for a crucial meeting today during which it was decided to end alliance with PDP," they said.

The BJP, sources said, it was a well planned strategy by Amit Shah. "He was not willing to give PDP a chance to 'become politically martyr' by ending the alliance with BJP. Instead, the party divorced the alliance and call for Governor's rule".

Sources said BJP's decision to end alliance with PDP was also influenced by feeling among the party leaders that party's base in its stronghold in Jammu was being eroded. "After the rape and murder of 8-year-old girl, the party activists and leaders were angry over refusal of government to order CBI probe into the incident. The BJP leaders were angry and wanted the party to pull out from the government to save party's base," they said.

According to sources, BJP felt that if the situation continued as it is, then the party may be unable to retain its stronghold in Jammu. "Now we can tell our workers and supporters that we sacrificed the government for their sake and hopefully will regain and consolidate our base," they said.

State BJP chief spokesman Sunil Sethi said law and order situation was the prime reason for their ending alliance with PDP. He said insistence of PDP on extension of ceasefire and soft approach towards militants, Pakistan and separatists force the party to pull out from the State government. "There can be no compromise with law and order situation and national integrity," added Sethi.

The New Indian Express