Here are 5 reasons why the BJP pulled plug on PDP in Jammu & Kashmir
For quite some time the relationship between the Peoples Development Party (PDP) and the BJP was nothing to write about. But today, the BJP sprang a surprise by withdrawing support to the PDP leading to the collapse of the Mehbooba Mufti government and her resignation.
Here are five reasons why the BJP withdrew support to the PDP:
- Extension of suspension of counter-terror operations in J&K
The Centre had unilaterally announced a suspension of counter-terror operations in J&K during the Ramzan period. But the PDP wanted an extension of this beyond Eid, for three months. Though the Centre was mulling on this, the killing of Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of Rising Kashmir newspaper, and the torture and killing of Aurangazeb, a jawan of the 44th Rashtriya Rifles, by terrorists, upset the Centre.
The spiral of violence sullied the image of the BJP and started affecting its voter base in Jammu region.
The PDP desperately wanted an extension because the Indian Army’s search and cordon operation was hitting its thin political space. Many neutralised terrorists were locals and with each killing of a terrorist or their civilian aides, the PDP government came under pressure and this was leading to an erosion of its voter base.
2. Conflict on ground
The BJP’s state leaders and workers were in favour of a muscular policy against terrorists and backed Indian Army’s ‘flush-out’ operations. But Mehbooba Mufti always tried to postpone the search and cordon operations. She did this so that a space could be created for talks with separatists and others.
3. Murders of Bukhari and Aurangzeb
Though Mufti favoured talks and the BJP was ready to talk to anyone, the terrorists blew up her plans when they gunned Sujaat Bukhari and Rashtriya Rifles jawan Aurangzeb.
By killing a high profile target like Bhukari, the terrorists raised the bar to create talking points.
Now that the terrorists have taken away the scope for any talks, the Army under central rule will tighten the screws on the terrorists.
4. Amarnath Yatra
After the killing of Bhukari, there were disturbing reports that the terrorists were planning to disrupt the Amarnath Yatra. If anything untoward happened to the Yatra, the BJP will not only lose its vote bank in Jammu, but would also be seen as weak-kneed.
Now the army can conduct search and cordon operations without the interference of a local government.
5. BJP wants to cut losses ahead of 2019
Reports had indicated that the PDP was planning to break the alliance with the BJP later this year to gain political mileage. The BJP did not want the advantage to go to the PDP. Cutting of ties with the PDP is clearly BJP’s move to cut its losses and consolidate its power in the Hindu-dominated Jammu region.