Congress leader Manish Tewari today opposed a statutory resolution to extend President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, identifying the BJP's "incompatible" alliance with the PDP as the cause behind the lack of government in the state. Mr Tewari, who claimed the Congress handed the BJP a stable Jammu and Kashmir, insisted an elected state government would better serve the nation's interests and help fight terrorism.
"Today the situation is such that we have to extend President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for every six months. Its roots are in the incompatible alliance of PDP and BJP in 2015," Manish Tewari said.
The resolution was presented by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who told the Lok Sabha the centre had worked hard to end terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and an improved law and order situation allowed for elections - a longstanding demand of political parties in the state - be held in six months.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under Governor's Rule since the BJP ended its ruling alliance with Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party in June last year. To hold elections by the year-end, another extension of President's Rule is needed.
"It is not in the interest of the people in the state and the country that Governor's Rule should continue," Mr Tewari said. The Congress parliamentarian also alleged the sense of alienation experienced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir had increased under BJP rule.
Tensions in Jammu and Kashmir have run high since the Pulwama terror attack in February; 40 Indian soldiers were killed on the day, prompting the government to retaliate with air strikes at terrorist targets across the Pakistan border.
In March, the Election Commission advised against holding simultaneous national and state polls after the state government expressed concerns over the law and order situation that, Mr Shah claimed today was under control.
The announcement had angered the state's political parties, who alleged that the BJP government at the centre was not keen on initiating the democratic process in the state.
In response, Mr Tewari cautioned the Home Minister, reminding him that a successful fight against terrorism needed the support of the people.
"If you have a tough policy against terrorism, we do not oppose it. But there is a need to keep in mind that the fight against terrorism can only be won if people are with you," he said, adding, "The government needs to walk two extra miles to integrate them into the national stream."
Last month, the commission indicated that it has received a green signal from the state government regarding elections.
"Due to Ramzan, elections did not take place and then there was Amarnath Yatra. They will have their elections in time if the bill is passed and the extended President's Rule ends," Amit Shah added, reminding the House that there was a time when there was no election in the state for six years.
With inputs from PTI and ANI