Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 1:22 AM

In BJP’s Core Group meet, talk of President’s Rule in JK

Friday, April 21, 2017

PM Modi, other leaders ‘unhappy’ with handling of situation by Mehbooba-led govt, desire ‘tough talk with her’
(Greater Kashmir) - As the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Core Group met in New Delhi on Wednesday evening to discuss the “deteriorating” situation in Kashmir, a section of participants that included top BJP leaders opined that the Centre must consider imposition of President’s Rule in the State in such a crisis, sources told Greater Kashmir on Thursday.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the backdrop of “worsening” situation in Kashmir especially since the April 9 bypoll that was marred by large-scale violence and killing of eight civilians by forces, deliberated upon the “future course of action” to bring about “normalcy” in the Valley. A section of BJP leaders, according to sources privy to deliberations during the meeting, was of the view that the Centre must “give a thought” to imposing President’s Rule in the State “in such a situation.”

While the Centre remained tightlipped on discussions held during the meeting, sources said both the Prime Minister as well as BJP ministers unanimously expressed their “unhappiness” with alleged mishandling of the situation in Kashmir by the Mehbooba Mufti-led government, saying “it is impacting BJP’s image” in the state and outside.

The PM took the meeting amid continued protests and clashes across Kashmir that were exacerbated by the killing of eight civilians by forces on the bypoll day. The thrashing of students of Government Degree College Pulwama by forces further compounded the situation, triggering mass-scale protests by students across the Valley on Monday, leading to closure of educational institutions.  

According to sources, some members in the BJP’s Core Group opined that the party must have a “tough talk” with Mehbooba on the “deteriorating” situation. A member, they said, even went to the extent of alleging that the Chief Minister’s political assessment of the Kashmir situation is “different and weak compared to her father (late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed) which has affected BJP’s image also.”

Sources said the party’s state leadership also wants the central leadership to “talk to her plainly when she comes to Delhi on Sunday.”

Fresh differences have already cropped up between the ruling allies, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after the former lost a “safe seat” in the recently-held Legislative Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

The PDP suffered a setback when it lost the seats after independent MLA, Baqir Rizvi, whom it was banking upon for support voted for the BJP candidate.