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BJP end alliance with PDP, CM Mehbooba Mufti resigns; BJP recommends Governor’s rule



BJP end alliance with PDP, CM Mehbooba Mufti resigns; BJP recommends Governor's rule

It is a sign of the unnatural tie-up that the BJP had entered into with People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that, probably for the first time in its existence, it broke the alliance to bring down a government it was part of.

The BJP, which has acquired an increasingly strong Hindu nationalist tenor, had joined the alliance to come to power in a state it never had a chance to manage – at the government level (it has been involved in several agitations and movements advocating the Hindutva cause and the cause of Kashmiri pandits). For this, it chose to join hands with the PDP which has advocated a soft approach to separatists in sharp contrast to the BJP’s penchant for military action.

The cracks in the alliance were visible after the government differed on key issues like Centre’s Ramzan ceasefire, Kathua rape case, removal of AFSPA and dialogue with Pakistan. The rift between the partners widened after the government decided to resume counter-terror operations after the month-long suspension of operations in the state during Ramzan. This is despite Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti pressing for an extension by at least two months.

BJP’s decision to pull out of the alliance with Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir today, Tuesday, June 19, came after BJP president Amit Shah met party’s MLAs from the state in Delhi earlier in the day.

BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, announcing the BJP’s decision in a press conference, said, “There were two major objectives when we joined the alliance – peace and progress in the state. Terrorism, violence and radicalisation have risen and fundamental rights of the citizens are in danger in the Valley. Shujaat Bukhari’s killing is an example… We discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and how much we’ve achieved since forming the government in the state. After a meeting with BJP’s Amit Shah, we decided that we cannot continue with PDP in the state.”

“Our ministers faced hindrances in discharging their duties in the last three years. People from Jammu and Ladakh were facing discrimination,” he added during the briefing.

The breaking of the alliance brought the state government down. The J&K Assembly has 89 seats.  The composition is: PDP- 28, BJP- 25, NC-15, INC-12, J&K people’s conference-2, CPI-1, others-4.

Minutes after the announcement, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation to the Governor, confirmed senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar. The PDO legislators were scheduled to hold an emergency meeting.

The Congress alleged that the BJP pulled out of the alliance after finishing the state physically and economically. Leader of Oppositon in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “When the BJP has formed the government in J&K, we had told the PM that will be a Himalayan mistake. We have been proven right.”

Azad said Jammu and Kashmir was destroyed socially and politically. “Who will create an alternate government in such a situation? They have made a khandar of a situation here,” Congress’ Azad said. “They ruined the balance of the society in Jammu and Kashmir. There was a lot of tension between the regions of Jammu and Kashmir. Socially, politically, Jammu and Kashmir was destroyed,” he said.

“After ruining the state in the last three years, they are now breaking the alliance. It is a total failure by the part of the govt of India. Centre cannot shy away from the responsibility,” said Azad.

“The regional parties should have been left to themselves to form a government. They should have been allowed to select their own partner. The BJP did not allow this. The alliance devastated the state. Maximum number of ceasefire violations and max number of civilians were killed in these three years.  The BJP exited after finishing the state physically and economically. The first criminal is the Government of India,” Azad said.

Earlier, explaining the BJP’s decision, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said, “Taking into account, the sovereignty and integrity of the country we have decided to part ways with the PDP. Governor’s rule should be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. It is time that the reins of power in the state be handed over to the governor.”

He added, “There were two major objectives when we joined the alliance – peace and progress in the state. Terrorism and radicalisation is on the rise in the state. The murder of editor Shujaat Bukhari shows even press freedom is in danger. It has become untenable for BJP to continue in the alliance govt in JK.”

“After the killing of Shujaat Bukhari in broad daylight in Srinagar, there was no question of suspending anti-terror operations…. The state must be put under Governor’s rule. Once situation is restored to normalcy, then we can take the political process forward,” he said.

Arguing that the BJP had tried the peaceful approach, Madhav said, “We granted ceasefire from a position of strength, remember that. They (militants) are not willing to even honour that…We have been successful in battling terrorism in the state. But political parties have a responsibility to prevent radicalisation and develop the state. We didn’t see that.”

“The home minister used to visit the Valley from time to time. You know that an interlocutor was also appointed for addressing grievances of the people in Jammu and Kashmir,” Madhav said, as he stressed on how the central government had strived for the development of the region.

“It pains me to say that those who are more in control of the government could not achieve these objectives,” he added. “Because the whole government does not belong to the BJP, there was a sort of discrimination which the people of Jammu and Ladakh were experiencing,” he said.

Explaining the rationale for the alliance with PDP, Madhav said: “We had to respect the mandate of the people. If we would not have formed govt at that time, Governor’s rule or Presidential rule would have been imposed in the Valley. We had an alliance with them just for the mandate that was given by people.”

Addressing the press conference, he said, the central BJP leaders had a special meeting for which state party leaders were called and the situation in the state discussed. After assessing what the party had achieved since forming the government in the state, it was decided that it is not possible for the BJP to continue in the alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir.

“After a lot of discussions, the prime minister and Amit Shah and other BJP leaders decided that it has become untenable for the BJP to continue in the alliance in Jammu and Kashmir,” Madhav said.

The BJP ministers were summoned a day after the Centre announced it would not extend the Ramzan ceasefire in the Valley. Sources in the party said the meeting was convened following differences between the ruling PDP and BJP over the issue of the ceasefire. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti wanted the ceasefire to be extended, while the Centre decided against it in light of the Amarnath Yatra.

The BJP central leadership would deliberate on the party’s strategy in the state ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and also take stock of the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir, sources said.

“All the BJP ministers have been called to New Delhi for a meeting,” a senior Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader told PTI. BJP state chief Ravinder Raina and party general secretary (organisation) Ashok Kaul have been also called for the meeting.

India News

Bus carrying injured passengers from Odisha train accident collides with van in Bengal town



A bus loaded with injured passengers from the Balasore train accident had to face another unfortunate accident in Medinipur, Bengal on Saturday, June 3. These passengers had sustained injuries in the triple-train crash that occurred in Odisha’s Balasore on June 2, adding to the already tragic series of events.

The bus carrying injured passengers to various districts in Bengal to provide victims with essential medical care, collided head-on with a pick-up van, leading to traffic disruptions on the National Highway in Medinipur. The collision resulted in a momentary halt as emergency responders swiftly sprung into action.

Fortunately, preliminary reports indicate that the injuries sustained by several passengers were minor in nature. The local authorities, displaying commendable efficiency, wasted no time in launching rescue operations. They coordinated the immediate transportation of the injured to different healthcare facilities across West Bengal, making sure they receive all required treatments.

The passengers who had gotten away with injuries from the earlier train accident in Balasore must have been shaken at the second incident within 24 hours. The Friday collision involved three trains: the Coromandel Express ( Kolkata-Chennai), the Yeswanthpur-Howrah Superfast Express, and a goods train. The result left a devastating toll, with at least 280 reported deaths and over 900 injuries.

Unfortunately, the collision involving the bus carrying the injured passengers and the pick-up van has further complicated the ongoing rescue efforts. However, the authorities are working tirelessly to provide the necessary assistance and care to the victims, as well as to assess the overall situation and mitigate further risks.

As the nation mourns, during these difficult times, the authorities prioritize the safety and well-being of those affected, extending their support to the victims and their families. 

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PM Modi visits Odisha train accident site, promises tough punishment for people responsible for collision

The Prime Minister met the injured passengers and assured them all the help and asked the Cabinet Secretary to provide special care so that the bereaved families are not put to inconvenience.



PM Modi with Railway minister Ashwini

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited the site of the train accident in Odisha’s Balasore where almost 300 died and some 700 injured. Speaking to the media, he said those guilty of the lapse that led to the accident will be punished.

PM Modi said he shared the anguish of those who have lost their near and dear. He assured the people that all possible help will be provided to the accident-hit families. He said the government will not forgive the culprits and dole out the strictest punishment to them. The Railways are working hard to restore the track, he added.

The Prime Minister met the injured passengers and assured them all the help and asked the Cabinet Secretary to provide special care so that the bereaved families are not put to inconvenience, and those who are affected should keep getting assistance from the government.

He also took stock of the relief and restoration operation on Saturday. PM Modi reached the site with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan with other senior officials. He interacted with the disaster relief team and other railways officials as well.

Apart from the announcement by Vaishnaw of Central assistance, PM Modi announced an additional ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund on Friday. On the day of incident, he spoke to Vaishnaw on phone and took stock of the situation. PM Modi had been scheduled to flag off Goa’s first Vande Bharat Express but after the Odisha accident happened, he had the event postponed.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge visited the site to provide all possible relief. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a former Railway Minister herself, also visited the site in Balasore. In Vaishnaw’s presence, she said the incident could have been avoided if the Railways had installed the anti-collision system. She announced a separate Rs 5 lakh compensation for families of those who died in the crash and Rs 1 lakh for those seriously injured, and Rs 50,000 for victims with minor injuries. She also said that West Bengal officers and doctors are on the ground for the relief work.

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India News

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw trolled over missing Kavach after Odisha train accident

Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnav said a high-level probe panel has been set up to look into what happened exactly before the two passenger trains on different lines derailed and collided. There is another question arising on the Coromandel Express’ wrong track.



Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav

The Odisha train accident has claimed over 280 lives leaving hundreds injured. The Railways have become targets for trolls given the number of deaths in Odisha.

The trolls have been very specific in getting after Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw since he had posted a video on the Kavach anti-collision system n which he explained in detail how the system would work to prevent collisions. Social media users asked the minister why was Kavach not installed on the stretch which saw the horrific accident. Some even demanded Vaishnaw resign. Railway spokesperson Amitabh Sharma confirmed there was no Kavach deployed on the incident route. The Kavach just might have saved so many lives.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav said a high-level probe panel has been set up to look into what happened exactly before the two passenger trains on different lines derailed and collided. There are other theories for the accident with some saying the Coromandel Express was on the wrong track.

The Indian Railways had announced to implement Kavach protection system over 2000 km during 2022-23. Around 34,000 km network was planned to be brought under Kavach. With Vaishnaw’s video explaining Kavach getting viral, Trinamool Congress s leader Saket Gokhale said only 2% of the total Railway routes have been brought under Kavach.

Gokhale claimed it was mere repackaging of the anti-collision device proposed by Mamata Banerjee when she was railway minister. In 2011-12, Indian Railways under Banerjee had developed the Train Collision Avoidance System system. The Narendra Modi government typically renamed the system to Kavach only to take credit, Gokhale said.

There was no progress on deploying this crucial rail safety technology until 2019 when three companies were approved for manufacturing and installing Kavach on railway tracks, the Trinamool leader said.

On Twitter, a journalist said similar accidents have happened in the past but the then Railway Ministers like Nitish Kumar and Lal Bahadur Shastri have taken moral responsibility and resigned from the position.

The accident has drawn condolences and outrage from India and abroad. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted that he was deeply saddened by the loss of hundreds of lives in the accident. Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said he was broken at seeing the images from the train accident and extended his condolences to the people who lost their close ones, he said Canadians are with the people of India in this difficult time. The European Commission and Turkey have also expressed their condolences at the loss of lives in the tragedy.   

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