Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Modi's party abandons Kashmir alliance

Modi's party abandons Kashmir alliance

"It has become untenable for the BJP to continue its alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir", BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav said in a press conference.

But from very beginning, the two partners had fundamental ideological differences on issues ranging from the state's special identity and the larger Kashmir issue. He added that BJP leaders were facing many problems with PDP workers regarding developmental work in the valley.

"We have to take a decision and may be the meeting has been called for that goal", said a senior BJP leader, who wished not to be named.

Direct rule by the central government would give the BJP a free hand to control the state ahead of a general election that must be called within a year.

National security adviser Ajit Doval drove to BJP chief Amit Shah's Akbar Road residence on Tuesday morning hours before the party announced its divorce with Jammu and Kashmir ally Mehbooba Mufti.

Analysts said a likely spell of governor's rule in the state will allow the central government to take tough measures against terrorism, which may provide the ruling BJP a plank in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Even the recent rape and murder of a minor girl from a nomadic Muslim tribe in Kathua underlined the growing mistrust between the two parties with regional BJP leaders joining protests against the state police probe, which was strongly backed by the PDP.

There was an apparent realisation that pulling the plug too close to the Lok Sabha elections would make it hard for the party to regain its support base.

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But, Madhav said, they were sad that the government failed to discharge its responsibilities and the feeling of discrimination towards Jammu and Ladakh regions continued. But this confession came minutes after Madhav announced the split with PDP.

"During the rule of this government, the most number of ceasefire violations took place along the border", Azad said. This alliance had a bigger motive- unilateral ceasefire, PM's visit to Pakistan, withdrawal of cases against 11,000 youth.

They said the party high command has convened the meeting tomorrow review the performance of the party ministers and other issues concerned to the party. "Shujaat Bukhari's killing is an example", the BJP leader added. "This clearly shows her (poor) grip on administration", he added. His two security guards were also killed in the incident. As far as what led to the split was concerned, Mufti pointed out, "Muscular policy will not work here".

Any intensification of the insurgency or deterioration of the situation in Kashmir carries the risk of prompting confrontation between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Madhav said the security situation in the state had worsened and it should be put under "governor's rule", or direct rule from New Delhi. Sources tell Outlook that Shah had met National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval earlier in the day to discuss the situation.

Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said that the Centre under Modi did its best for the development of the state.

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