From Kathua Rape To Kashmir Floods, 5 Times BJP-PDP Had A Fallout

The alliance, forged out of necessity in February 2015 between two parties with widely disparate ideology, had been shaky from the start.

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From Kathua Rape To Kashmir Floods, 5 Times BJP-PDP Had A Fallout

Narendra Modi's BJP and Mehbooba Mufti's PDP have widely disparate ideology


Srinagar:  The BJP on Tuesday ended the three-year alliance with Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, setting stage for Governor's Rule in the state; the resumption of ceasefire in the state after Ramzan was the latest flashpoint. The alliance, forged out of necessity in February 2015 between two parties with widely disparate ideology, had been shaky from the start. The differences were carefully papered over by the state's veteran politician Mufti Mohammad Syed and senior BJP leaders including Ram Madhav after weeks of hard work. Their common goals for the state were chalked out in a Common Minimum Programme. But the ties started unravelling soon after the death of the Mufti, the Chief Minister of the coalition, in January 2016. His daughter Mehbooba Mufti, who stepped into her father's shoes after months of indecision, accused the BJP of not fulfilling the requirement of the Common Minimum Programme.

Here are the five instances on which the BJP-PDP ties hit the rocks:

Flood relief in the state:
Even before she took over as the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti was upset with BJP for the Centre's tardiness over the economic package for the state, which was still reeling from the losses in the devastating floods of the year before. She also wanted assurance from the BJP that the coalition's common agenda will be fulfilled since the party is in power at the Centre. Senior leaders like Naeem Akhtar complained of "trust deficit" between the two parties and said the matter needed to be "worked out".

Arrest of separatists: In July last year, the Mehbooba Mufti government had attempted to block the arrest of seven separatists -- including Altaf Fantosh, the son-in-law of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani -- who were accused of abetting terror. They were accused of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and protests by stone-throwers in Kashmir Valley. The arrests were seen as a major setback for PDP's efforts for a peaceful resolution in Kashmir.

Removal of AFSPA: The Armed Forces' Special Powers Act -- which gives soldiers the power to make arrests without warrant or raid any location -- is put in place in insurgency-hit areas of the country. The government maintains that it helps control armed insurgents. The PDP argued that the removal of AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir would contribute hugely to the healing touch in the state -- a move neither the army, nor the NDA government was comfortable with.

Article 35A of Constitution: In August last year, the BJP and PDP hit a rocky patch over a constitutional provision that contributes to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 35A bars outsiders from owning property in the state and a petition in the Supreme Court was seen as a threat to it. The BJP long maintained that Article 35-A discriminated against the state's women, who get barred from owning property if they married an outsider. Ms Mufti was finally assured that since the issue was procedural and not substantive, the Attorney General will "present the legal position as it prevails in the constitution".

Kathua rape and murder case: The horrific gangrape and murder of an 8-year-old girl from a nomadic Muslim tribe widened the rift between the two parties earlier this year. The police said the child was killed to strike fear in the Bakerwal community and drive them away from the Hindu-majority areas in Jammu. Members of the state BJP cast doubts on the police investigation in the case. Two BJP ministers had to step down after they openly lent support to the accused.


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