Mehbooba quits, BJP pulls out of Jammu and Kashmir govt
Published : 19 Jun 2018, 22:33:19
Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday resigned as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mehbooba's move came shortly after the BJP announced it was pulling out of its alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Three years ago BJP formed a government in Jammu and Kashmir with the PDP with some goals. But now it has become untenable for the BJP to continue in the alliance government,” said BJP general secretary Ram Madhav at a press conference in Delhi.
“Keeping in mind the larger national interest of India’s integrity and security... in order to bring in control the situation prevailing in the state. It is time that the reins of power in state be handed over to the Governor,” said Madhav, referring to the state being administered by the Centre through Governor NN Vohra. The state can remain under governor’s rule for a year without the requirement of a reference to Parliament.
“Fundamental rights of people in Kashmir are under threat. Even press freedom and freedom of speech is at risk,” Madhav said, commenting on the murder of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar on Thursday.
The Jammu and Kashmir elections in 2015 threw up a hung assembly, with no party getting the 45 seats needed for a majority in the 87-member house. The PDP was the largest party with 28 seats, followed closely by the BJP with 25, its highest tally ever in the state. The two parties came together after weeks of negotiations but it was always an uneasy relationship given their deep ideological differences on a range of issues. Their alliance came under extreme strain in April after the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from the nomadic Muslim community of Bakarwals in Jammu’s Kathua district.
Two BJP ministers of the state government were dropped in a cabinet reshuffle after they took part in a rally demanding that the Central Bureau of Investigation take over the Kathua case.
The Congress, which has 12 seats in the assembly, said it won’t ally with the the PDP. “The alliance has devastated the state, be it economically or socially, and has left Jammu and Kashmir in a state of ruins,” said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The National Conference, which was defeated in the 2015 elections and has 15 seats in the assembly, said it wants fresh elections. “At the earliest, the people should be given the chance to choose a government for themselves,” said party leader Omar Abdullah on Twitter.
A BJP leader, who spoke to HT on condition of anonymity, said violence in Kashmir is increasing and the party would have paid a “political cost” if it hadn’t ended the alliance. “You will see a quick improvement in the situation in Kashmir. The PDP was appeasing a political constituency, which was putting spanner in the works of the security forces,” said the BJP leader.
The BJP’s decision to exit the alliance with the PDP comes after the central government said on Sunday that it was discontinuing the suspension of military operations in Jammu and Kashmir as the holy Islamic month of Ramzan was over, and announced a full resumption of cordon-and-search and search-and-destroy operations in the state to prevent terror attacks. The ceasefire--the first such truce in the troubled state in more than 17 years--had been announced at the appeal of chief minister Mufti.
BJP leader and state deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said in Delhi that he and other party ministers resigned after meeting BJP president Amit Shah.-Hindustantimes