SOS missives from Jammu ‘fast paced’ BJP move to quit PDP Govt

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New Delhi, Jun 19: Though it is a common practice for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to take final call on matters related to party affairs, with regard Jammu and Kashmir decision on Tuesday, the duo had rather banked on the core team members – NSA Ajit Doval and BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav.
In the ultimate, it appears few crucial missives from a section of party’s workers and traditional supporters made the saffron party leadership and government operative ‘fast pace’ their decision to quit the alliance with PDP.
According to BJP sources, Shah got a few “SOS – save our soul” messages from Jammu unit leaders, who complained that ‘failure’ of Ramadhan suspension of military operations and allowing Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to continue in office had become “untenable”.
“In many parts of Jammu, our leaders and elected MLAs were received by angry crowd in rural pockets. The development compelled Shah to talk to some senior Jammu and Kashmir leaders in details to assess the ground situation,” sources said, giving the inside shenanigans that ultimately led the party leadership to pull the plug on the Mehbooba government.
Subsequently, the BJP chief spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and reportedly shared critical points of their discussions with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Necessary feedback was also sought from Army commanders.
Chief of Army Staff Gen Bipin Rawat visited forward areas in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday and was briefed by Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh, GOC.
Shah also sought the opinion of Madhav, who had interacted intensely with senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig in 2014-15 for forging the alliance.
In Andhra Pradesh, Madhav spoke to the party chief over phone and shared his inputs. Both seemed to agree that some drastic decision ought to be taken.
”We have lost support on the ground and our workers are openly criticising the government. We don’t want to keep the voters in a fix. We have to take a decision and may be the meeting has been called for that purpose,” said a senior BJP leader, who wished not to be named.
Some state BJP leaders ventilated their grievance that their supporters and workers were not quite happy over the Mehbooba government’s handling of ‘rape and murder’ of an eight-year-old girl in Rasana village of Hira Nagar in January.
Madhav was then asked to cut short his stay in Andhra Pradesh and “return Delhi” for consultations.
Key decision was already taken – at least there was a broad consensus that “tough measures” ought to be taken in Jammu and Kashmir to fight militancy and what Madhav later described as “rise in radicalism”.
In the meantime, the BJP leadership, especially Home Minister Rajnath Singh took feedback from various agencies.
Taking cognisance of inputs, the military troops on Monday resumed active anti-militancy operations as combined team from state police, CRPF and Army men launched Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) at Waghama village of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and also at Samboora village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
“By evening, BJP president directed all key Jammu leaders, including deputy CM Kavinder Gupta, to arrive in Delhi,” sources said.
Shah reportedly also held a crucial meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday morning and finally, the all-important decision was taken and announced at the BJP headquarters.
”We had lost support on the ground, especially in Ladakh – a BJP region and our workers started openly criticising the state government, where BJP was a party,” a source said.
There was also “anger” among BJP leaders that the state government and Home department never consulted them on transfer of Deputy Commissioners and senior Superintendents of Police.
No wonder, the social media was in no time flooded with ‘mubarak’ and congratulatory messages, as BJP pulled out of PDP-headed coalition government.
“Mubarak ho, unholy alliance of #pdp #bjp ended in Kashmir,” a tweet summed up the spirit well.