Federal rule imminent in India’s Kashmir as government collapses June 19 2018 02:31 PM
India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday pulled out of a coalition government in the Jammu and Kashmir state, a move which will bring the insurgency-torn state under direct federal rule.
The Hindu nationalist party allied with the regional People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2016 to rule the Muslim-majority state.
“The government has failed in its responsibility of improving the situation in the state. Terrorism and violence has increased in a big way as has radicalisation,” senior BJP leader Ram Madhav told reporters in New Delhi, explaining the decision.
“Fundamental rights of citizens including right to life and free speech are in danger,” he said.
“Keeping in mind the larger national interest of India’s integrity and security and in order to bring the situation in control, it is time the reins of power in the state be handed over to the Governor (N N Vohra).”
State chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti subsequently submitted her resignation to Vohra, who is likely to issue a proclamation that dissolves the assembly and enables him to directly administer the state in the name of President Ram Nath Kovind.
The rift between the BJP and PDP widened after the federal government’s decision to resume anti-militancy operations after the fasting month of Ramadan.
While the PDP pushed for continuing the peace initiative, Madhav said militant attacks had in fact increased; most recently prominent journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead by militants on the eve of Eid.