When Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah called an emergency meeting in Delhi with Jammu and Kashmir ministers on Tuesday, it was speculated that he would discuss their future strategy with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). And discuss they did: The BJP chief decided to pull out of the coalition government in the state and break its alliance with the PDP.
BJP national general secretary and in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav, made the announcement at a press conference in New Delhi. Soon after, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti resigned and sent her resignation letter to Governor of Jammu and Kashmir NN Vohra. Reports said she had cancelled all the meetings she had scheduled for the day since getting a whiff of the BJP's decision on Tuesday morning.
Reactions from politicians and other stakeholders started pouring in even before Madhav ended the press conference. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah was one of the first to react to the news of the split. "I wish Mehbooba Mufti had gone with some dignity rather than having the rug pulled out from under her feet," Abdullah said, adding that he was not shocked by the BJP's decision but by its timing.
And so it has come to pass........ — Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 19, 2018
The Congress said whatever happened, had happened for the better. “I had cautioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a BJP-PDP alliance will be a Himalayan blunder," said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. "We are happy that the Centre has accepted its mistake."
Whatever has happened is good. People of J&K will get some relief. They (BJP) ruined Kashmir & have now pulled out, maximum number of civilian & army men died during these 3 years. That question does not arise (on forming alliance with PDP): GN Azad, Congress pic.twitter.com/rcfVelHdnT — ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
PDP spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said: "We had tried our best to run the government with the BJP... This is a surprise for us because we did not have any indication about their decision."
We tried our best to run the govt with BJP. This had to happen. This is a surprise for us because we did not have any indication about their decision: Rafi Ahmad Mir, PDP Spokesperson on BJP pulling out of an alliance with PDP in #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/6laodyNY97
— ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
Another senior Congress leader, Kapil Sibal, called the BJP "opportunistic", adding that snapping the alliance with the PDP was an "act of political immorality".
An opportunistic BJP First an opportunistic alliance with PDP Now an opportunistic breakaway Both acts of political immorality Kaise Desh badlega ? — Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) June 19, 2018
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said: "After ruining it, BJP pulls out of Kashmir." He also highlighted the BJP's earlier claim that demonetisation had been effective in stopping terrorism in the state.
After ruining it, BJP pulls out of Kashmir — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 19, 2018
The chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi, said he felt sorry for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. "This was an alliance between the north pole and the south pole. The people of the nation want to know what happened to the north pole-south pole alliance. The BJP cannot run away from failing to stop attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP is equally responsible. It pulled out of the alliance because it knew it was losing ground," he said.
Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra MP Sanjay Raut said the BJP-PDP alliance had been "anti-national and unnatural" to begin with. He said had they continued with it, "they would have had to answer in 2019 Lok Sabha election".
This alliance was anti-national & unnatural. Our party chief had said, this alliance won't work out. Had they continued with it they would have had to answer in 2019 Lok Sabha election: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena on BJP calling off their alliance with PDP in #JammuAndKashmirpic.twitter.com/s2JVACZqxz — ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
While former director general of the Jammu and Kashmir police K Rajendra Kumar welcomed the decision and said imposing Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir would be the "right step towards restoring public order and peace (in the state), especially in the context of rising terrorist incidents and radicalisation". "(This is a) relief for the peace-loving people of the state," he said.
Residents of Srinagar, too, welcome the decision, saying they had long awaited the split and now hope it works in people's favour. "It is good that this government ended. They were both brutal," Srinagar resident Shuja Ahmad Sheikh said. "PDP came to power on the promise that it would not allow the BJP to form government, but it ended up making an alliance with the same party... The BJP has humiliated PDP like no other regional party could. The move was made with the 2019 elections in mind."
Described as "strange bedfellows" and "uneasy alliance", the BJP-PDP coalition always struggled to run in a state that trouble resolving any issue amicably. As Madhav said at the press conference, the problems plaguing Jammu and Kashmir were extremely complex, and with an alliance that never saw eye to eye, it was difficult to agree on anything.
With inputs from agencies.
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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2018 17:45:24 IST