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Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s Death Was the First Blow to Alliance, Says BJP’s Ram Madhav

In an interview to CNN-News18 hours after the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP leader Ram Madhav said the decision to end the alliance with PDP was not “opportunistic”.

Marya Shakil | CNN-News18maryashakil

Updated:June 20, 2018, 2:50 PM IST
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New Delhi: BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir in-charge Ram Madhav on Wednesday blamed the break-up of the party’s alliance with the PDP on the “soft approach” of the Mehbooba Mufti government over violence in the Valley.

In an interview to CNN-News18 hours after the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, Madhav said the death of Mehbooba’s father and then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in January 2016 was the first blow to the alliance.

“In 11 months’ time, Mufti sahab passed away and that was the first setback for the alliance. Mehboobaji took her time, thus giving the impression to the opposition that she was not fully on board,” he said.

“It was a historic alliance. We do not believe in political untouchability. I agree that it was compulsion of the moment, but it was not an opportunistic alliance. Mufti sahib described it as the coming together of the North and South poles... We tried our best to maintain this alliance and ensure that the government lasts its full term. I myself put in a lot of effort... but some alliances work and some don’t,” Madhav said.

The BJP leader added that even pulling out of the tie-up was not an opportunistic decision. “There is nothing opportunistic about leaving this alliance. It came to a point where it became untenable. There were attacks in towns which didn’t happen earlier. We felt the need for a strong control over the situation.”

Referring to the killing of veteran journalist Shujaat Bhukari, Madhav said, “Policemen and journalists are being killed because of the soft approach. We don’t want that soft approach.” The BJP leader, however, said he didn’t agree with the contention that 2018 has been the bloodiest year in the Valley.

Madhav said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti made “no credible efforts” to restore peace in south Kashmir. “We wanted local body elections to be held. We had agreed to postpoll them till April, but I don’t see the polls being conducted in the near future either.”

The BJP stunned Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday afternoon after it pulled out of the three-year-old ruling coalition with the PDP in the state and called for Governor's rule.

The announcement was made by Ram Madhav that the BJP was withdrawing support to the coalition government which had been wracked by bitter political feuds and worsening security challenges.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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