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Why BJP ditched PDP? To gain lost ground before 2019, say political parties

BJP on Tuesday ended its alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, forcing chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to resign

Press Trust of India  |  Jammu 

Ram Madhav (centre), who is in charge of the BJP affairs in J&K, with Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta (first from left) and BJP state chief Ravinder Raina at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: PTI
Ram Madhav (centre), who is in charge of the BJP affairs in J&K, with Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta (first from left) and BJP state chief Ravinder Raina at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

BJP's decision to pull out of the ruling coalition with the PDP was seen by political parties in Jammu and Kashmir as an attempt to gain "lost ground" ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as commoners attached their hopes with the governor's rule to restore peace and ensure the development of the state. 

A group of Congress supporters burst crackers, distributed sweets and danced on a road in Jammu to express their joy over the sudden political development.

"BJP was feeling that the earth beneath its feet was fast skidding and hence pulled out of the PDP-led government with an eye on the upcoming parliamentary elections," Panthers Party chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh said.

He said the people of the state, particularly in Jammu region which gave 25 Assembly seats and two parliamentary seats to the BJP, were very angry with the party over its "one after another surrender before the pro-separatist PDP agenda to remain in power".

He said the casualties suffered by border residents and security personnel in ceasefire violations in Jammu region were the highest in the past four years.

"It was a decision to benefit the party and not the people. They are trying to hoodwink commoners but the anger of people against the party has reached its peak and they will face the music and will be held accountable."

Singh said it would have been better had they pulled out of the coalition after the conclusion of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.

"The yatra is going to start next week which is a major challenge given the prevailing law and order situation in the valley. Pulling out at this juncture makes it amply clear that they escaped without facing the challenge," he said.

Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said the PDP-BJP government collapsed under its own weight. 

"BJP was under intense pressure from the entire nation because of its failure to deal with Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan as was promised by it prior to coming to the power at the Centre. In order to save political space, the BJP withdrew support but not before pushing the state into a crisis," he said.

He said it was expected that the government will not last long because both the parties had compromised their election manifesto.

"The PDP-BJP government brought the situation in Kashmir to the level of 1990 and it is now very difficult to retrieve it from there. All the gains made over the years have been reversed. They had no other option because of the recent killings and the outrage in the country against it," he said.

NPP supremo Bhim Singh termed the BJP move a "stunt to save its face on the level" and said this is going to be the "Waterloo" for both PDP and BJP in the state.

Singh, however, congratulated PDP for "giving a loaf in power to the state BJP leaders from Jammu" and exposing their commitment towards the welfare of the people of Jammu region.

Rajiv Chuni, chairman of SOS International, an organisation of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir refugees, said the people of Jammu are very happy with the collapse of this government.

"It was an unholy alliance and just want to come to power in the state. Both parties were having different opinions on same issues," he said. 

He claimed the people of the state suffered a lot because of their ideological divide. "The biggest sufferers were the people of Jammu because of discrimination which was at its worst and not even seen in the past six decades."

The terrorists have spread to hitherto peaceful areas and a recent grenade attack at the Jammu bus stand was an eye-opener. 

"It is a welcome decision though it came very late. The people of Jammu were not happy with this alliance because both the parties were pulling in opposite directions and created more confusion among the people rather than addressing the issues," Govind Jamwal, a shopkeeper said.

He said people are looking forward towards the governor's rule and expect things to move fast to help restore peace and normalcy in the valley and ensure the development of all the three regions.

At Parade Ground, Congress supporters assembled on Tuesday evening and distributed sweets, danced, and burst crackers to celebrate the fall of the government.

"The policies of this government deteriorated the situation. We were against the ceasefire from day one but nobody listened to us. Stone-pelters were released and their cases were withdrawn," he said.

However, Parvinder Singh said he was shocked to know that the BJP had pulled out of the coalition.

"They were running the government smoothly and faced every challenge united. The ceasefire was a good move to open up ways for the resumption of dialogue to help restore peace in the state," he said, adding that the state witnessed good pace of developmental activities over the past three years. 

Ankur Sharma said it is a good decision and "we are looking forward towards the governor's rule and we are sure that the growing militancy will be curbed and the Amarnath Yatra ends peacefully."

A Bajrang Dal leader also welcomed the BJP decision and termed it as a "good news for the people of Jammu".

"People were very angry with BJP and had not it pulled out from this coalition, it would have lost whatever support had left for it," he said.   

First Published: Wed, June 20 2018. 07:45 IST