NEW DELHI: The Citizens’ Group on Jammu and Kashmir, which include former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, has said in its fifth report that the BJP withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP government with aims to use the Kashmir issue for polarising people in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“The common perception was that the Modi government had nothing much to showcase in terms of its achievements for the 2019 general election. There were no new fault lines emerging in Indian polity which could be exploited electorally. Hence, the BJP went for the fall-back option of using Kashmir to communally polarise the electorate in the state as well as the rest of India,” report read.
The Group also stated in the report that the BJP would latch onto threat of militancy in the Valley and Pakistan’s hand in promoting use in the campaign for the 2019 general election.
“The BJP government would now take a more belligerent position on the validity of Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution which was currently being adjudicated by the Supreme Court and scheduled for a hearing in August,” the report noted. The group had visited the state between June 19 and 23 as part of the civil society initiative to reach out to the people. Furthermore, it claimed that the people on the ground felt that the withdrawal of support from the PDP had more to do with the BJP’s calculation of how it might be able to come back to power in Delhi in 2019 and less with the developments in Kashmir.
The group claimed that the people in the Jammu region feel that the performance of the BJP’s ministerial team was even worse. The report also added that some of the people it interacted believed that had the BJP-PDP government fallen in July 2016 protests after the death of a militant Burhan Wani, then the level of radicalisation in south Kashmir