Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Ram Madhav said on Thursday that his party has abandoned its partnership with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and not the people of the state.
Madhav clarified that there was no electoral consideration behind the decision to sever ties with the PDP and added that it was done in the larger interest of the country and in the interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Madhav said that when the BJP formed the alliance with PDP three years ago, the objective was to restore peace and stability in the state, as well as ensuring all-round development.
He added that on the security front, the BJP-PDP alliance was able to neutralise terrorists despite facing hurdles.
He lamented that the BJP exited the alliance because it had failed on the political and development fronts.
Madhav told ANI, "A lot of initiatives happened on the political side. We tried our best to address the separatist elements and bring Jammu and Kashmir as a single state. We lacked in big way in that aspect. On the development front, despite the Centre's Rs. 80,000 crore package for the state, little attention was paid in Kashmir Valley, Jammu region and Ladakh to some extent."
He acknowledged that there was a sense of lack of development and discrimination in Jammu and Ladakh regions and perceptible non-development in Kashmir, leading to more alienation.
Blaming PDP for the same, Madhav said, "Rather than addressing the question of alienation, our partner (PDP) chose to pamper it. All this made us believe that we have to part ways."
Vowing to work for the development of the state, he continued, "We'll work for the betterment of the state. We had a four-pronged strategy - hot pursuit against terrorists, that will continue. We went after overground supporters through legal mechanism, engaged with different people through interlocutors when we were in power. We will complete the unfinished developmental agenda with a proactive approach. These efforts will go on."
Madhav said that the BJP tried to create more enthusiasm to do development activities in the state, promoting political activities like local body elections but could not be taken forward.
Asked on whether former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and the PDP "pampered" separatists and stone pelters, Madhav replied, "I'm not singling out anyone. The government, especially the PDP, could have done much more to allay the suspicions that our people had developed over the last few months especially."
On the decision of imposing Governor's Rule in the state, Madhav clarified that it was being done to normalise the political atmosphere and to kickstart development activities.
Asked about the possibility of forming a government in Jammu and Kashmir, he further said, "Give democracy a chance. If no party comes forward to form the government, we have to go for polls. But still, there is 2.5 years to go. We cannot cut short the tenure."
Commenting on the possibility of other parties of forming the government, Madhav added, "We are not against others coming together (to form the government). Let them explore the options. Right now, we want Governor's Rule to continue for some time."
The Governor's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir came into effect after Mehbooba Mufti resigned as Jammu and Kashmir's Chief Minister, following BJP's withdrawal from its alliance with the PDP.
The differences between two parties cropped up following the government's decision to resume anti-terror operations in the state, which were suspended during Ramzan.