New Delhi: Differences in opinion over the continuation of the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, along with the deteriorating law and order situation, proved to be the last straw for the three-year old alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Peoples Democratic Alliance (PDP).

Following the surprise announcement by the BJP on Tuesday that it was pulling out of the state government, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti sent in her resignation to governor N.N. Vohra, plunging the state into a fresh political crisis. Subsequently, all major parties, including the National Conference (NC) and Congress, ruled out any new alliance formation.

BJP’s decision came hours after party president Amit Shah held a high-level meeting with national security adviser Ajit Doval. Shah had also met senior ministers from the state government, along with party in-charge Ram Madhav, in New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

Senior BJP leaders, both in the state and at the centre, said that resumption of anti-terrorist operations after the Ramzan ceasefire was the final bone of contention. While BJP was in favour, PDP leaders wanted the ceasefire to be extended. Even on Tuesday, Mufti reiterated that a “muscular policy" is not the solution for peace in Kashmir.

“Mehbooba Mufti had conveyed her displeasure over the ending of ceasefire to the BJP leadership. She wanted it to continue, whereas given the security situation in the state, the BJP was not willing to continue with ceasefire. The view was very clear in the BJP, we wanted anti-terrorist operations to start again," said a senior BJP leader based in Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from the divergent views between the two parties within the state government, a section of the BJP leadership felt that Mufti as chief minister was not doing justice to the regions of Jammu and Ladakh, as development work was mostly concentrated in Kashmir valley.

“The two parties are diametrically opposite in their views. There are many views about security and development activities, which created differences between the two sides. The question is about the integrity of the country because of the prevalent security situation in the state. After the death of journalist Shujaat Bhukhari, it became clear that ceasefire would not be extended," the BJP leader added.

Senior state Congress and NC leaders said that once PDP refused to be part of the proposed grand alliance soon after the state polls, it was no longer tenable. There is a view in the Congress party that the “deteriorating" law and order situation in the state will make it difficult for any new alliance to step in at this point.

“Any new alliance talk is very difficult at this stage. PDP is the largest party in the state. If Mufti was keen on exploring options, she would not have instantly submitted her resignation. Matters end here because us and the NC put together do not have the required numbers," a senior Congress leader from Srinagar said, requesting anonymity.

Both NC leader Omar Abdullah and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of any new alliance formation.

gyan.v@livemint.com

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