BJP pulls the rug, Mehbooba govt falls

BJP pulls the rug, Mehbooba govt falls
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Raj Bhavan forwards report to President for Governor’s Rule

New Delhi/Srinagar: Citing “national interest”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of the three-year-old coalition government with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday, a day after the BJP high command called all its J&K leaders to Delhi for an emergency meeting.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav made the surprise announcement at a hurriedly called press conference in Delhi. “It has become untenable for the BJP to continue in the alliance government in the state,” Madhav told reporters.

A few hours later, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation to Governor NN Vohra.

Governor’s Rule, for the 8th time overall and the 4th time under incumbent governor NN Vohra, is imminent in Jammu and Kashmir. A communiqué from the Raj Bhavan informed that Governor Vohra held consultations with all major political parties in J&K and then forwarded his report to the President of India for imposition of Governor’s Rule under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir in the past has come under Governor’s Rule on seven occasions. It will be for the fourth time that the state will be placed under central rule during NN Vohra’s tenure as Governor. Vohra, a former civil servant, became the Governor on June 25, 2008.

The BJP said it pulled out of its alliance as it had become impossible to continue in the government in view of the growing radicalism and militancy in the state.

Madhav said the decision to withdraw was taken after consulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah.

“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 the reins of power in the state be handed over to the Governor,” Madhav said.

Terrorism, violence and radicalism have risen and the fundamental rights of citizens, including right to life and free speech, are in danger, the BJP leader said.

BJP leader and J&K Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta told reporters in Delhi that he and his ministerial colleagues had submitted their resignations to the Governor as well as to the Chief Minister.

“Centre did everything for the Valley. We’ve tried to put a full-stop to the ceasefire violations by Pakistan. PDP has not been successful in fulfilling its promises. Our leaders have been facing a lot of difficulties from PDP in developmental works in Jammu and Ladakh,” Madhav said.

“We are not questioning the intentions of PDP but they have failed in improving the condition of life in Kashmir,” he added.

Immediately after Madhav’s news conference, senior PDP minister and party’s chief spokesperson Naeem Akhthar told reporters in Srinagar that the BJP’s decision had caught the party by surprise.

The BJP won 25 seats and the PDP 28 in the 87-member assembly. They came together in alliance two months after the December 2014 elections. The NC has 15 seats, the Congress 12 and others seven in the J&K assembly.

Both National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and the state Congress said they will not form an alliance with any party to form government in the state.