Opportunistic BJP-PDP alliance set J&K on fire, cost India strategically: Rahul Gandhi

The PDP and the BJP formed a coalition more than two months after the December 2014 elections returned a hung verdict, in which the PDP got 28 seats and the BJP 25, while the National Conference bagged 15 seats and the Congress managed to win 12 in a House of 89. 

 Opportunistic BJP-PDP alliance set J&K on fire, cost India strategically: Rahul Gandhi
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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday said that the 'opportunistic BJP-PDP alliance' set Jammu and Kashmir on fire, killing many innocent civilians and brave soldiers. 

"The opportunistic BJP-PDP alliance set fire to J&K, killing many innocent people including our brave soldiers. It cost India strategically and destroyed years of UPA’s hard work. The damage will continue under President’s rule. Incompetence, arrogance and hatred always fail (sic)."

The three-year J&K government collapsed on Tuesday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulling out of its alliance with the People's Democratic Party (PDP). BJP general secretary Ram Madhav made the announcement after the J&K ministers were summoned to New Delhi for emergency consultations. A few hours later, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation to Governor NN Vohra. 

"It has become untenable for the BJP to continue in the alliance government in the state," Madhav told reporters at a press conference. The BJP blamed the PDP for failing to improve the security conditions in the Kashmir Valley. Madhav cited last week's killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in the heart of Srinagar in the highly secured area of Press Enclave by unidentified gunmen. The same day - two days before Eid - an Army jawan was abducted while going on Eid leave and killed. 

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.

On the other hand, addressing the press, Mehbooba said, "I submitted my resignation to the Governor and have told him that we are not looking to explore any other alliance... We had formed the alliance with BJP because we shared a grand vision. It took us many months to form an alliance whose prime focus was reconciliation and dialogue."

She added, "I am not shocked... We didn't do this alliance for power. This alliance had a bigger motive - unilateral ceasefire, PM's visit to Pakistan, withdrawal of 11,000 cases against the stone pelters... We had always said muscular security policy will not work in J&K, reconciliation is key... We have safeguarded Article 370 and 35-A (of the Constitution) and we will continue to do that."

The PDP and the BJP had formed a coalition more than two months after the December 2014 Assembly elections returned a hung verdict, in which the PDP got 28 seats and the BJP 25, while the National Conference bagged 15 seats and the Congress managed to win 12 in a House of 89. The government came to power on March 1, 2015. 

(With PTI inputs)

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