BJP pullout of alliance from PDP sparks blame game; Oppn calls it opportunistic politics

PTI
Tuesday, 19 June 2018

New Delhi: The PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir was described by late PDP founder Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in 2015 as meeting of the "north pole and south pole" but the BJP's exit three years later sparked a blame game and led opposition parties to call it opportunistic politics. 

As the BJP's withdrawal from the alliance took the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP by surprise, the saffron party on its part blamed the Kashmir-based party for failing to improve the security conditions in the Valley. 

New Delhi: The PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir was described by late PDP founder Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in 2015 as meeting of the "north pole and south pole" but the BJP's exit three years later sparked a blame game and led opposition parties to call it opportunistic politics. 

As the BJP's withdrawal from the alliance took the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP by surprise, the saffron party on its part blamed the Kashmir-based party for failing to improve the security conditions in the Valley. 

"Keeping in mind that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and in order to control the prevailing situation in the state, we have decided that it is time the reins of power in the state be handed over to the governor," its general secretary Ram Madhav told a hurriedly called press conference in New Delhi. Madhav said continuing in the alliance with the PDP had become untenable. 

But PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said a "muscular security" policy will not work in the state and that reconciliation is the key. 

Mehbooba maintained that Jammu and Kashmir was not an enemy territory as being perceived by few. "We had always said muscular security policy will not work in J-K, reconciliation is key," she told reporters after an hour-long meeting with her ministers and party workers at her residence in Srinagar. 

"We believe that there is no alternative to the PDP's healing touch agenda under which talks should be held with Pakistan, people of Jammu and Kashmir, more and more routes (across the Line of Control) should be opened," she added. 

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the BJP had committed a "Himalayan blunder" by forming a government with the PDP. 

He said the BJP, a national party, should not have allied with PDP, a regional player. 

"The regional parties should have been allowed to form an alliance among themselves," he told reporters in Delhi. 

The alliance has devastated the state, be it economically or socially, and has left Jammu and Kashmir in a state of "ruins", he said. 

The Left parties said the coming together of the BJP and the PDP after the Assembly polls in 2014 to form a government, was itself "opportunistic". 

"Such coalition should not have happened. These two parties have no similarities. They coming together was an opportunistic move to be in power," CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said. 

The BJP unit in Jammu and Kashmir said the decision of the BJP to pull out of the government was a "well thought" decision. 

"It is a well thought decision. In the given circumstances as continuation of alliance anymore would have hurt the national interest", Chief Spokesperson J&K BJP, Sunil Sethi told reporters in Jammu. 

"It was highly unfortunate that our partner was always trying to tie over hands from taking strong measures against enemies of the nation." 

It was in February 2015 that former chief minister late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said the newly stitched alliance between the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was a "meeting of the North and South pole". The alliance was stitched two months after the 2014 Assembly polls threw up a hung verdict. 

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slammed the BJP for pulling out of its alliance with the PDP and alleged that the party had "ruined" the state. 

National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said while he was not surprised by the BJP's decision its timing took him by surprise. 

"I can't speak for the BJP, only BJP can answer. I was expecting a pullout, I was expecting this coalition to fall apart but I had expected this to happen a later in the year. I was not expecting it to happen quite so soon. 

"Clearly, over the last month or a month-an-a-half, we have seen a marked and very significant deterioration in the situation in the state and that perhaps is one of the reasons, but beyond that I do not want to speculate as to what was the reason for the BJP," the NC leader told reporters in Srinagar after meeting Governor N N Vohra. 

Asked whether the PDP would be embarrassed about the decision, Omar said the least the BJP could have done was to take the PDP into confidence before announcing the decision. 

Omar said the BJP can't escape the blame as both it as well as the PDP are responsible for the deteriorating situation in the state. "I wish Mehbooba Mufti had resigned herself... instead of the having the rug pulled from under her feet." 

CPI-M leader and MLA M Y Tarigami said the leadership of both the PDP and the BJP are answerable before the people of Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country for their unprincipled alliance which ended today but not before sending the state in deep crisis.

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