BJP pulls out of alliance with PDP in Jammu & Kashmir.

The BJP has pulled out of its alliance with the PDP or People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, which will leave the state under Governor’s rule.”It had become untenable to continue with PDP government in Kashmir,” said senior BJP leader Ram Madhav.”Fundamental rights of citizens including the right to life and free speech are in danger,” he added, defending the decision that has ended the shaky coalition two years before its term ends.

The BJP has 25 lawmakers and the PDP had 28 in the state assembly, where the majority mark is 45. The decision to withdraw support came after BJP president Amit Shah met with the party’s lawmakers from Jammu and Kashmir in Delhi. The rift between the two parties widened following the central government’s decision to resume anti-terror operations in the state after Ramzan. The PDP of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asserted that the Centre needed to reach out to the separatists. The Centre argued that the separatists lost an opportunity as they did not take a cue from civil society, the sources said.

The central government’s special peace initiative in the Kashmir Valley suspension of cordon and search operations was taken to provide relief to the people during the holy month of Ramzan. But data showed the terror activities had more than doubled in this period. On the eve of Eid, senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by terrorists in Srinagar. With it, any faint hope of an extension of the ceasefire ended. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Union home minister Rajnath Singh announced that security forces have been directed to resume operations. The ceasefire was Mehbooba Mufti’s idea and the state BJP unit had fought it tooth and nail.

The rift showed from time to time over PDP’s promises of talks with separatists, the proposal to remove the AFSPA (the Armed Forces’ Special Powers Act under which grants special powers to the army in insurgency-hit areas), and even the rollout of the government’s flagship Goods and Services Tax. The alliance between the BJP and the PDP, parties with widely divergent views, had been shaky since the beginning. In March, concerns over the future of the alliance surfaced after the PDP sacked its minister Haseeb Drabu. Since the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the father of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Mr Drabu had been a key interlocutor between the two parties. On that occasion too, the top BJP leadership had summoned the state leaders to discuss possible repercussions on the alliance.

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