J&K: BJP will milk withdrawal from alliance with PDP in 2019 elections
Kashmiris fear that after withdrawing from the coalition government with PDP, BJP will now work on its political agenda of presenting Kashmiris as enemies of Hindutva ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha election
Has the BJP played a masterstroke by withdrawing from the coalition government with the J&K People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, just months before the 2019 Lok Sabha election? Will the situation in Kashmir worsen? Will the clouds of despair hanging over Kashmiris darken further? Kashmiris fear that the coming days will be scary and filled with violence. All these questions are swirling in the corridors of power from Srinagar to Delhi.
The coalition of PDP and BJP was considered to be against the preferences of most Kashmiris, and the possibility of it breaking down was ever present ever since its inception. But after running a coalition government for nearly four years, it is clear that by withdrawing support to PDP without even any prior indication, that BJP is going to make use of the Kashmir situation in the 2019 general elections. Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA Mohd Yusuf Tarigami told National Herald, "BJP wants the crisis in Kashmir to worsen. Since this coalition government was formed, there has been tremendous polarisation between the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region. Politically, the PDP has suffered the greatest loss, because embarrassingly for her, Mehbooba Mufti used to take the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and say only Modi could resolve the Kashmir issue. Although this will create churn in the political atmosphere in Kashmir, the biggest losers are the people of Kashmir. Governor's rule means Modi's rule, and this will be even more painful. There will be more catastrophic days, tension will increase on the border. Indeed, the Modi government wants to use Kashmir to spread hatred and violence before the 2019 general elections.
Pravina Ahangar (Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons in Jammu & Kashmir), one of the most vocal voice against human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir, told National Herald that this move of BJP has made it clear that they do not care less for the suffering of Kashmiris. “BJP wants to spread violence and hatred here. Anyway this government was not doing anything for us. Mehbooba Mufti did not even understand the anguish of a mother, our children, our relatives are missing. These sorrows on’y continue to grow,” said Ahangar.
Senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz also believes that the ending of the BJP-PDP coalition was inevitable, because it was an unnatural alliance. “Healing Kashmir is not within the capability of the BJP. It is possible that an understanding can be found between all other parties to find a way out of this crisis. However, that will depend on the understanding and foresight of the J&K National Conference,” said Soz.
An understanding of any kind if at present not visible among the non-BJP parties in Kashmir. The Congress, PDP and JKNC have all said that they will not form any alliance to govern at present. Meanwhile Tanvir, a social worker in Srinagar, says that the atmosphere is extremely tense. “BJP will now work directly on its political agenda of presenting Kashmiris as enemies of Hindutva. Pakistan will also do its bit to increase tension.”