Mehbooba Mufti didn't get even a whiff of what was in the offing when she stepped into her office on Tuesday morning. She met Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma for a detailed discussion. But later she became anxious as reports about the BJP pulling out from the alliance began pouring in.
By the time Ram Madhav started addressing the press conference it was too late for Mehbooba to take a decision. She accepted BJP's decision to pull out of the government as a fait accompli.
In her press conference later, Mehbooba enumerated the expectations she had from her alliance partner and cited many steps which she took during her tenure. She cited her defence of the Article 370 and the Article 35A in court as an example of how she defended the state's special status. The outgoing chief minister also said that she withdrew cases against first-time stone-pelters and hailed the Non-initiation of Combat Operations.
Mehbooba was politically humiliated by the BJP, exactly like the way she did with Congress chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2008, after the Amarnath land row.
It took months of political negotiations for BJP and PDP to come together and form a government headed by the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in March 2015. Sayeed described the alliance as the meeting of 'North and South poles'.
Peoples Democratic Party spokesperson Rafi Mir said that it was BJP's decision to pull out of the alliance. He said both have been working together for the last three years despite serious disagreements on crucial issues. "This is a surprise for us, but it was going to happen one day. They want to run Kashmir through a muscular policy that is not going to work," Mir said.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said in a press conference he told Governor NN Vohra no party has the strength to form a government, but at the same time the Governor's Rule should not remain for long.
"The timing had surprised me," Omar said. He, however, said that what was more strange was that just like the National Conference, the PDP was also caught by surprise. CPM leader and Kulgam MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the leadership of both the PDP and BJP were answerable to the people for their unprincipled alliance, which ended today but not before sending the state into a deep crisis.
"People want to know what happened all of a sudden? This is an attempt by BJP to evade responsibilities. People in the state and the country want to know what they (BJP) have done in four years in Centre and more than three years in Jammu and Kashmir to address the issue of deepening crisis and uncertainty," Tarigami said.
People also came up with smart comments on social media after the PDP-BJP break up. One Showkat Motta wrote on his Facebook page: "Oh idiot, North is North and South is South, and never the twain shall meet."
"The PDP, which campaigned against the BJP and asked people to vote for it to stop BJP from coming to power, but later allied with it is the same party which has been shown door by the BJP," said Mansoor Ahmad Vakil, a resident of Pulwama. "It will pay for its treachery," Vakil said.
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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 21:13:29 IST