Press Trust of India

Quest For Electoral Gain Behind BJP-PDP Split, Says Yashwant Sinha

By pulling out of the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping to shore up political support ahead of the upcoming assembly elections and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

That’s according to former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. The former external affairs minister headed a citizens’ group that visited the state in 2017 on a fact-finding mission. He had recommended talks with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir after this visit.

Speaking to BloombergQuint from Srinagar after the BJP said it was snapping ties with the People’s Democratic Party, Yashwant Singh said there was no real reason for the party to pull out of the alliance. Except the quest for political gains.

The Modi-Amit Shah combination does not do anything without an electoral purpose in mind. They realised this is the best time to pull out of the coalition which was untenable to begin with.
Yashwant Sinha, BJP Leader & Former Finance Minister

The 2015 assembly elections in J&K threw up a hung parliament with no clear majority for any single party. With the BJP pulling out of the government, the state is now under Governor’s rule, effectively putting it under the control of the Centre.

Security personnel stand guard at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, on Tuesday 19, 2018. BJP today decided to pull out of its ruling alliance with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photographer: S Irfan/PTI)
Security personnel stand guard at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, on Tuesday 19, 2018. BJP today decided to pull out of its ruling alliance with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir. (Photographer: S Irfan/PTI)

“People in Srinagar are apprehensive,” Sinha said, as they fear that a more “muscular policy” would mean greater suffering for people in the valley. Under the J&K Constitution, Governor’s rule can be imposed for six months with the option to extend it by another six, if the situation demands it.

National Conference leader and outgoing Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s biggest political rival, Omar Abdullah, met the Governor of the state soon after the alliance was called off, asking for early elections. That’s unlikely, according to Sinha. BJP’s electoral purpose will not be served if elections are called soon, he pointed out.

The more logical thing to do would be to dissolve the assembly and go for fresh elections. But this they will not do because it will not suit the political purpose for which this step has been taken
Yashwant Sinha, Former External Affair Minister

Watch the full interview here: