Amit Shah explains the Kashmir fall-out
BJP president Amit Shah today blamed "pressure groups" in Jammu and Kashmir for stalling his party's efforts for an equitable growth in all three regions of the state and cited worsening law and order situation in the Valley for its decision to walk out of the PDP-led government.
In his first comments following the break-up of the PDP-BJP alliance yesterday, he also claimed that the decision to withdraw support was not taken keeping in mind the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
If that was the case, then it would have been done six months later, Shah said told Zee News in an interview.
He said that there was little development on the efforts to provide relief and rehabilitation to Kashmiri Pandits and those who had arrived in the state from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, among other issues, despite funds being sent to the state government.
"But these things did not see progress. How long we could have waited. I don't think that Mehbooba Mufti's intentions were not there but various kinds of pressure groups had cropped up who broke the dream of a balanced development," the BJP chief said.
"The balance in development which should have been there among the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh did not happen and there was also this (worsening) law and order situation," he said, citing the reasons behind his party's decision.
He defended the BJP's decision to join hands with the PDP in 2015, saying the fractured mandate did not give any other option.
Not doing an experiment thinking that it will not succeed is not progressive politics, he said.
People were happy when the BJP joined hands with the PDP to form the government and they are happy now over the decision to withdraw support, he said.
The BJP's stand on Kashmir remains what it always was but the alliance was formed on the agenda of development, he said.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, a key leader behind the alliance, said there was a feeling that "between the larger national interest and local political interest, our partner is weighing more on the local side. That's where we had to take a call".
"For a national party like the BJP, which is committed to national integrity and sovereignty, we had to take a stand. Having said that, together we tried to do many good things for the state," he told News18.
Madhav said that the BJP tried its best to maintain the alliance and ensure that the government lasts its full term.
"That's the reason why many of us were not fully on board when the prime minister and the home minister decided to suspend operations on the request of Mehbooba Mufti. We said, fair enough, let us give that also a chance," he said.
But innocent policemen were being killed and there were attacks in cities and towns where no terrorist dared to enter earlier, Madhav said.
"We felt that there was a need for a strong government and a strong control over the situation. That's when we took this decision," he said.