The Bharatiya Janata Party has pulled out of the ruling coaltion with People’s Democratic Party or PDP, days after prominent journalist Shujaat Bhukhari was gunned down by suspected terrorists.
BJP spokesperson Ram Madhav pointed to three factors that prompted the party to pull out — rising terrorist incidents, poor law and order and an imbalance in development priorities between different parts of the state.
“The present scenario cannot be handled by the present government at this juncture,” Madhav said.
“We find our continuation in the government totally untenable. It is time matters are taken over by the governor and we can continue the political process.”
The BJP gets much of its support from Ladakh and Jammu regions, while PDP gets most of its support from the Kashmir region.
Madhav indicated that the BJP was not happy with the development priority, or the lack of it, given to Ladakh and Jammu regions.
He also there was no question of continuing the Ramzan ‘ceasefire’ given the deteriorating conditions in the state.
“If terrorists could walk into Srinagar city and kill a prominent journalist like Shujaat Bhukhaari, how do you expect for us to have asked for a continuation of suspension of operations.”
Congress spokesperson Ghulam Nabi Azad said BJP was trying to put all the blame for the mess in Kashmir on its alliance partner and ‘escape’.
“They never had any experience in administering Kashmir.. whatever has happened is good. The people of this state have been saved from this destructive rule of the past 3.5 years,” he added.
He also said that BJP leaders in Jammu & Kashmir have made money via corrupt means, such as transfers, in the hill state. “They have made all the money. Now they want to run,” he said.
Asked if the Congress Party would tie up with PDP, he said there was no question.
“They called it the coming together of the north pole and the south pole,” said Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi.
“I have seen it first hand that governance has failed. Things have not improved in the last three years,” he added.
Owaisi also said the reason why the BJP has now taken this decision is to prevent further loss of support in Jammu, an area where it gets considerable votes from.
CPIM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said BJP cannot shirk the responsibility for the situation in the state. “The BJP has been party to each and every decision taken in the government. They cannot shirk the responsibility and blame the alliance partner.”
“Now, to create further instability and deepen the feeling of alienation is not in India’s interest,” he added.
He said the BJP is targeting 2019 elections with the move. “This will be disastrous for the country if this is done for electoral politics,” he said, adding that the BJP plans to ‘increase the communal divide’ in India in coming days.