Separatist Mehbooba Mufti had become a threat to National Security

The fact remains that Mehbooba Mufti had crossed the red line by not just demanding extension of ceasefire for two more months but by asking the Narendra Modi Government to extend unilateral ceasefire to the borders in J&K

Separatist Mehbooba Mufti Had Become A Threat To National Security
Separatist Mehbooba Mufti Had Become A Threat To National Security

The whole truth is that the threatening Mehbooba Mufti made the BJP unpopular in Jammu province, which had given a massive mandate to it in the 2014 assembly elections

That the June 19 dramatic decision of the BJP to withdraw its support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led government in J&K would trigger a fierce debate was not altogether unexpected. It did trigger a debate. Its desperate and out-on-the-limb arch-political rival Congress and similar other outfits contested the BJP’s claim that it withdrew its support in the “larger national interest”. They all dismissed as politically motivated the BJP’s decision and sought to create an impression that the BJP took this extraordinary step only to improve its poll prospects in 2019. The debate would continue for months to come depending on what happens in Kashmir Valley post-Eid.

She never took cognizance of the fact that the BJP’s core constituencies were Jammu and Ladakh where the people had their own needs, compulsions and aspirations

Whatever one may say or not say about the BJP’s decision to withdraw its support to the Mehbooba government or about the collapse of the 40-month-old coalition of “South and North Poles”, but the fact remains that Mehbooba Mufti had crossed the red line by not just demanding extension of ceasefire for two more months but by asking the Narendra Modi Government to extend unilateral ceasefire to the borders in J&K. Unreasonable and dangerous were her demands. The unilateral ceasefire or suspension of operations during the month of Ramzan had only helped terror outfits and their cadres regroup themselves, move and launch attacks on the security forces more freely and with utmost ease, induce young Muslims to join terrorist ranks and negate the great work done by the Army and para-military forces in the state braving all odds. These were the inputs given by the security forces to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharan. To accept the demands of Mehbooba Mufti was to further endanger national security and help anti-state forces within and outside Kashmir, including Pakistan, to intensify their break-India activities.

But the insistence of Mehbooba Mufti on the extension of ceasefire post-Eid constituted just one of the two fundamental factors which left the BJP with no other option but to dump the PDP. The other factor was the manner in which Mehbooba Mufti functioned as a coalition Chief Minister and treated her ally, the BJP. Arrogant, unaccommodating and separatist-friendly as she was, Mehbooba functioned as if she was running a one-party government. She not even once appreciated the compulsions of the BJP. She, in fact, rendered her coalition partner ineffective and unreal in and outside the government for all practical purposes. All of her policy pronouncements and actions were Kashmir-centric and one-community-centric. She never took cognizance of the fact that the BJP’s core constituencies were Jammu and Ladakh where the people had their own needs, compulsions and aspirations.

Mere withdrawal of support would not help the BJP retrieve the situation in the state and win over the alienated sections of society across the nation

The whole truth is that the threatening Mehbooba Mufti made the BJP unpopular in Jammu province, which had given a massive mandate to it in the 2014 assembly elections. The BJP favoured CBI probe into the alleged Kathua rape and murder case. But Mehbooba opposed it and threw all eggs in the basket of the Kashmir-dominated Crime Branch. The BJP wanted the deportation of Rohingyas from Jammu, but she candidly declared that their “deportation would not be appropriate”. The BJP wanted Mehbooba Mufti to withdraw her February 14, 2018 directions to the Deputy Commissioners of Kathua, Samba, Jammu and Udhampur districts (all in Jammu province) and Inspector General of Police Jammu not to “disturb or dislocate” members of tribal community (in this case Gujjar and Bakerwal Muslims) from the state, forest and other lands occupied illegally by them, but Mehbooba Mufti refused.

But these constitute just three of the several such instances, including dismissal of two RSS and BJP-affiliated Law Officers on the ground that they defended in the J&K High Court cow-killing and beef-eating laws and gross discrimination with the people of Jammu, which serve to demonstrate the nature of treatment Mehbooba Mufti accorded to the BJP. No wonder then that the BJP virtually became a pariah in Jammu province with people bemoaning their decision to vote for it in 2014. Not just this, the way Mehbooba Mufti behaved also created an awkward situation for the BJP and the Narendra Modi Government across the nation. An impression went down that the BJP had compromised its age-old ideology and turned soft on separatism and that an insidious influence was at work to undo all that the nation did in Kashmir during the past 70 years to integrate the state into India. Many BJP-watchers attributed its defeats in almost all by-elections and poor performance in Gujarat and Karnataka to what they called its “weak-kneed Kashmir policy”.

The withdrawal of support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led government by the BJP needs to be viewed in this context. The decision of the BJP needs to be commended by one and all. At the same time, it would be only desirable if the BJP undo all the wrongs committed in the sensitive border state by the Congress, the National Conference and the Muftis. Mere withdrawal of support would not help the BJP retrieve the situation in the state and win over the alienated sections of society across the nation. It has to do something concrete on the ground to convince the nation that it is indeed a party with a difference.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Hari Om is former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jammu.
Hari Om

5 COMMENTS

  1. Win or lose J&K should be completely merge with India cancelling Art 370.We are pouring money like anything.Sacrificing the lives of thousands of our soldiers .For what ? To save a state which is not having any loyalty and gratitude?Modiji,suspend art 370 and deal with separatist on war footing style !

  2. The Gujarat and Karnataka elections saw NOTA votes. A message by voters to Namo indicating the declining popularity. More to do with Demo & GST than anything else. If Namo does not jump into the Hindutva bandwagon he is likely to lose in 2019. Many of the schemes have failed like crop insurance, skill development etc and there is nothing visible in Karnataka for BJP to show in terms of development. A mere show by the PM in Bangalore by travelling between Whitefield and Majestic in a local train and more debates by Swamy would have brought more votes. Also the infighting is too much.

  3. If Jammu and Kashmir can have special status then let it have a special rule by the governor with army support, always.
    This is to ensure that India is safe from intrusions.
    No politics should be encouraged in a state prone to violence.
    Or if they want democracy and rule of public then let it agree to removal of special status and merge with the rest of India.
    Why can’t Jammu and Kashmir be like the rest of India…with rights for every citizen of India to live n prosper.

  4. BJP has to work hard to recover its lost popularity voters by aligning with enemy of J&K,Mehbooba Mufti.It has to keep the state under Governor and Presidents rule till LS elections 2019.It cant go for assembly elections or formation of new govt by Mahaganthbandhan as they will try in 2019.NC PDP CONGRESS will make an alliance to remove Presidents rule in next 6 months.But MODI has to stall their attempts.Election to J&K assembly be done after annulment of article 370,35A and Trifurcation of J&K and re-organization of the state as Kashmir,Jammu and Ladakh.It is a brave and risky step but for the future of J&K it is needed.Also delimitation process will be started by center with appointment of delimitation commission for India including J&K.If India wants to save J&K from breaking away from India no political govt is to be handed over power for 5 years for that a process of re-organisation delimitation and Presidentail Notification is needed.

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