New Delhi: The failure of ceasefire during Ramzan, law and order and "discrimination" to Jammu and Ladakh are behind the BJP's decision to pull out of the alliance with Mehbooba Mufti, senior party leader Ram Madhav said today. Asked why the BJP decided to dissolve the alliance now, Mr Madhav said, "I have said why we pulled out now. There's no other concern".
- The three-year long alliance came to an abrupt end on Tuesday
- The alliance was discontinued in view of "larger national interest": BJP
- Breaking point came after centre decided not to extend ceasefire
Announcing the end of the alliance at a press conference, the 53-year-old national general secretary of the party, who was one of the architects of the alliance, said, "Terrorism, violence and radicalisation have risen and fundamental rights of the citizens and free speech are in danger in the Valley".
To solve the situation in Kashmir, "keeping in mind the larger national interest and that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, we have decided it is time that the reins of power in the state be handed over to the Governor," he added.
The tie-up between the two parties, whose ideologies in some areas are diametrically opposite, had been shaky at best. Made necessary by the fractured verdict in the 2015, their differences had surfaced over a number of issues, including the Centre's package for the state, the proposal to scrap the Armed Forces' Special Powers Act, which grants sweeping powers to the army in insurgency-hit areas, the Kathua case where two BJP ministers supported the alleged attackers of the 8-year-old girl, PDP's promise of talks with separatists and the rollout of the government's flagship Goods and Services Tax (GST).
But the breaking point came after the government decided to resume anti-terror cordon and search operations on Sunday. There had been a spike in terror attacks since the peace initiative was announced, but the killing of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari on the eve of Eid made the choice clear.
"After killing of Shujaat, there was no question of not continuing terror ops. It was obvious we could not have asked for extension... we came to conclusion that present scenario cannot be handled by present government at this juncture," Ram Madhav said, without mentioning the PDP misgivings about the decision to end ceasefire.
Stance towards separatists had been one of the key differences between the two parties since beginning. While the PDP favoured a soft approach, the BJP was vehemently against the idea.
Sources said the PDP, at whose insistence the Centre had agreed to the month-long ceasefire, had been extremely upset about the decision. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, whose brainchild it was, had seen the ceasefire as an outreach to the separatists, in view of the prevailing mood of the Valley.
Ram Madhav said, "Our expectation was that the separatists, Hurriyat would understand this... this was our goodwill gesture... But there was no outreach from them. That's why decided to stop the suspension".