BJP-PDP alliance breaks, Mehbooba quits as J&K CM, opposition seeks fresh polls; anti-terror ops set to intensify

The BJP on Tuesday pulled out of the three-year-old ruling coalition with the PDP in J&K and called for Governor's rule, saying it had become 'untenable' to continue in the alliance government. 

BJP-PDP alliance breaks, Mehbooba quits as J&K CM, opposition seeks fresh polls; anti-terror ops set to intensify

New Delhi/Srinagar: Hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of the three-year-old ruling coalition with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and called for Governor's rule, Director General of Police SP Vaid said on Tuesday that operations against terrorists in the state will be intensified in the coming days. "I am sure things should work very effectively and it will have an impact on the security situation in the Valley," he said. Vaid added that counter-terrorism operations were stopped only during the just-ended period of Ramzan.

Operations against terrorists will be intensified, says J&K DGP

"They were going on earlier also, but we will intensify these operations in the days to come. And it would be, I think, much easier to work," the J&K police chief said when asked if Governor's rule would make a difference. He said terror activities increased during the period the security forces suspended the operations. "But we will go all out and intensify operations against the terrorists now," Vaid said.

He further said that the suspension of operations had an impact in the fight against terrorists as they were at an advantage. "The orders were to maintain a high alert in the camps so that if the camps were attacked, we are able to retaliate effectively. But one could not launch operations even when there was specific intelligence about the presence of terrorists. So that obviously was advantageous for the terrorists," Vaid said, PTI reported.

BJP-PDP alliance collapses in J&K:

The J&K government collapsed on Tuesday with the BJP pulling out of its alliance with the 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 in New Delhi. 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 leave and killed. 

On the other hand, addressing the press in Srinagar, 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 always said muscular security policy will not work in J&K, reconciliation is the 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. 

NC leader Omar Abdullah calls for fresh elections in J&K:

Former J&K CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said on Tuesday that they will not be staking claim to form the government in the state. He also called for fresh Assembly elections soon. "I met the Governor. I told him that National Conference didn't receive the mandate to form the government in 2014 and we don't have the mandate in 2018 also. We haven't been approached and we aren't approaching anyone," he said, addressing the media.

"I have told Governor that since no party has the mandate to form the government, he will have to impose Governor's rule in the state. We also requested the Governor that Governor's rule should not remain imposed for a long time period. After all, people have the right to choose their government. Fresh elections should take place and we will accept the mandate of the people," he added, as per ANI.

NN Vohra recommends Governor's Rule in J&K:

Following the collapse of the coalition government in the state, J&K Governor on Tuesday forwarded his report to President Ram Nath Kovind for the imposition of Governor's rule. The report was sent to the President after he held consultations with Mehbooba, BJP state chief Ravinder Raina, Omar and Congress J&K president GA Mir. 

"The Governor received a letter by fax, jointly signed by Raina and Kavinder Gupta, state BJP president and leader of BJP Legislature Party respectively, about withdrawing BJP's support to the coalition government," a Raj Bhawan spokesperson said, as per PTI. He added that Mehbooba tendered her resignation thereafter, but the Governor has asked her to continue in office till alternative arrangements are made.

"The Governor spoke to Kavinder Gupta and Mehbooba Mufti to ascertain whether their respective parties intended to explore alternative alliances to form a government in the state and was informed in the negative by both the leaders. He also spoke to Mir, who informed that his party did not have the numerical strength to form a government on its own or in an alliance," the spokesperson said.

Later, the Governor had a meeting with Omar, who stated that there was no alternative to Governor's rule and elections. "After concluding his consultations with all the major political parties, Governor Vohra has forwarded his report to the President for the imposition of Governor's rule under Section 92 of the Constitution of J&K," he further said.

(With Agency inputs)