New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday approved the imposition of governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew support to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in the state.

Political parties have also started demanding fresh elections in the state at the earliest. However, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) maintained that the focus of the Union government would be to ensure peace in the region. “Our only aim is that terrorism should end and peace should prevail in Kashmir, and our government will work keeping this in mind," Union home minister Rajnath Singh said in Lucknow.

The border state plunged into a political crisis on Tuesday after the BJP, in a surprise move, decided to end its support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led state government. A day later, army chief Bipin Rawat said the armed forces face no “political interference" and, thus, the developments would not have any impact on ground operations.

“Operations were being carried out earlier as well. Then we saw a phase of suspension of operations because we wanted people to get a chance to offer their prayers during Ramzan without any problem. Despite that, terrorists continued with their activity, which is why the suspension of operations was cancelled," said Rawat.

Continuing its attack on the BJP, the Congress top brass of Jammu and Kashmir, including leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, general secretary in-charge Ambika Sonia and the party’s state unit chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir, held a joint press conference in New Delhi later in the day.

Terming the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s policy on Jammu and Kashmir as “directionless, agenda-less and clueless", the Congress criticised the “unethical alliance" between the PDP and the BJP. “In March 2015, the BJP and the PDP formed an unethical alliance.... The BJP had won elections mainly based on ending the Kashmir issue. What really happened is that they ended the lives of Kashmiris. The highest ceasefire violations in J&K occurred under the BJP’s tenure in the last three years," Azad said.

Earlier in the day, BJP’s state party chief Ravinder Raina held a press conference in Jammu. He said the deteriorating law and order situation was the main reason for the BJP to break the ties with the PDP.

PTI contributed to this story.

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