In a massive development in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP has reportedly pulled out of the BJP-PDP alliance. There had been simmering differences between the two parties and now it seems that the alliance had hit a dead end. The BJP took a strong move and decided to end the alliance due to ideological mismatch and in the better interest of the state and India. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti had been testing the patience of the BJP for quite some time.
While there are so many reasons that led to the severing of alliance between the two ideologically opposite parties, the following 5 reasons were the most important among them:
1.) The sacking of Haseeb Draboo: Signs of the alliance breaking up had emerged in March itself when finance minister Haseeb Draboo was sacked from the state cabinet by Mufti. Draboo was seen as PDP’s contact person with the BJP. This was a clear indication of increasing differences between the two parties.
In fact, the entire stint between the two parties was marked by unsavoury remarks and actions on Mufti’s part. The BJP which wanted to ensure that a popular government remains in the state tried to deal with PDP patiently. But, of late the differences reached to an irreconcilable level.
2.) The soft corner for stone pelters: At the forefront of differences between the two parties has been Mufti’s affection for separatists, Pakistan, stone pelters and other radical Islamist elements. This has irked the BJP as well as its core voter base. The move by Mehbooba Mufti to withdraw 104 cases of stone pelting on police and paramilitary forces against 634 stone pelters in the backdrop of Eid was one such shocking move that disclosed the nefarious designs of the PDP and Mehbooba Mufti. With this move, BJP’s alliance with the PDP had also come under the scanner. It was being asked from several quarters that if the BJP cannot exert sufficient influence on the PDP, then what was the meaning of sustaining such an alliance.
3.) The same old ‘soft stance’ for Pakistan: Earlier, in late March this year, Mufti had asked Prime Minister Modi to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan at the earliest. While Pakistan was pushing in terrorists into the Indian soil and especially into Kashmir, Mufti was unnecessarily meddling in the affairs of central government and asking it to negotiate with a terrorist nation. This was also in sharp contrast to BJP’s ideology and strong Pakistan policy. It must have been one of the major irritants resulting in eventual breaking up of the alliance.
4.) Mehbooba’s treatment of soldiers: It was not only Mufti’s hobnobbing with the separatists but also her aversion towards the Army and security forces active in the valley that widened the rift between the two parties. The Shopian incident in January this year, when the former chief minister snubbed the BJP and an FIR was filed as well as a magisterial probe launched against Army personnel of 10, Garhwal unit. Two civilians who were part of a stone pelting mob had been killed even as the personnel tried protecting themselves. Mufti ordered an enquiry into the matter. This was seen as a highly demoralising event for the Army as the FIR was registered and allegations leveled against the personnel without making sufficient enquiries into the matter. On BJP’s demand to withdraw the case, Mufti had snubbed her ally and stated that the FIR would be taken to a “logical conclusion”. In a veiled attack on the Army, she had stated that a “black sheep can be anywhere.” This definitely did not go down well with the BJP and its senior leaders.
5.) The Kathua case: The differences between PDP and BJP, however, reached its peak stage during the Kathua investigations. Serious aspersions were raised at the police investigations into the case and many absurdities as well as inconsistencies came at the forefront. It also came to light that the people of Jammu region felt that they were being discriminated against by the state and police authorities. Despite all the irregularities and allegations of foul play in investigation, Mehbooba Mufti denied transferring the case to the CBI for better investigation in the matter. Meanwhile, the incident was used for all kind of communal and political purposes. Unfortunately, a heart wrenching tragedy with an infant was politicised by the PDP. There was palpable anger towards the PDP within the BJP leaders and cadres.
It is clear that even though it is the BJP that has ended the alliance for good, the actions on the part of the PDP that compelled BJP into taking this decision. Mufti’s misdeeds and political sins of endorsing stone pelters and separatists while using criminal cases to bog down the army personnel, have led to the ending of BJP-PDP alliance.