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RSS says end of BJP alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir was inevitable

RSS had reservations about the BJP alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir from its inception in 2015.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2018 13:51 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The RSS mounted pressure on the BJP to withdraw from the Mehbooba Mufti government after an escalation in terror activities.(Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) believes the decision by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to end its alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and withdraw from the state government on Tuesday was inevitable, senior RSS functionaries said.

RSS, the BJP’s ideological mentor, had reservations about the alliance from its inception in 2015, the functionaries said. RSS leaders were also unhappy with the performance of state BJP ministers. A senior BJP leader said in a report on three years in office, most party’s ministers pinned the blame for failures on “coalition compulsions” and difficulties of “abiding by the agenda of the alliance.”

The RSS mounted pressure on the BJP to withdraw from the partnership after an escalation in terror activities.“In recent months, the RSS had in no ambiguous terms made it clear that this alliance of unlikely partners should be called off, as the fallout for the BJP would be disastrous. The party had not been able to fulfil its promises, compromises had to be made with its ideology and people who voted for the party were angry ,” said a senior RSS member.

The RSS state unit conveyed to the leadership that resentment was growing among people , especially in the Jammu and Ladakh regions, according to a person aware of the development. There were concerns about the implications of this resentment on the BJP’s electoral fortunes.

The RSS felt the disagreement between the BJP and the PDP on extending the Ramzan halt on counter-insurgency operations offered an opportunity to take a stand and call off the partnership.

The deteriorating situation in J&K — from increased terrorist operations to social unrest following the rape of a minor in Kathua and concerns over the rehabilitation of Rohingya refugees in Jammu — were discussed during a round of meetings held in April in Delhi between the Sangh’s brass and BJP ministers and party leaders.

“The RSS’s preference for a pullout was conveyed to BJP president Amit Shah, with a message that he should relay the concerns to PM Narendra Modi and ask him to take a call based on consultations with the national security advisor Ajit Doval,” said a functionary who was privy to the details of the meetings.

The state unit’s feedback from the ground was that the forces need more room to control the situation and more support from the government. The RSS was not happy with the BJP’s decision to not pursue its demand for the abrogation of Article 370, which allows autonomy to the state except in defence, foreign affairs and communications. While the BJP saw the Ramzan ceasefire as a confidence-building measure, the Sangh described it as a “blunder that gave terror groups a chance to regroup.”

“Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s decision to offer amnesty to stone pelters, her persistence to initiate dialogue with separatists, her demand for withdrawal of troops coupled with the administrative failures to develop Jammu and Ladakh, and the problems of the people who bear the brunt of ceasefire violations by Pakistan all weighed in favour of breaking the alliance,” said another senior functionary.

Going ahead, the RSS functionaries said the BJP can focus on rebuilding its cadre in the state, especially in the regions of Jammu and Ladakh.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 23:58 IST