BJP Pullout: Home minister Rajnath was as surprised as Mehbooba

Srinagar

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was kept unaware about the decision of pulling out of the coalition with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir and then the decision to this effect was taken by PM Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and NSA Ajit Doval, The Telegraph reported.

Pertinently, Mehbooba Mufti resigned as the chief minister J&K yesterday after it came in minority following the pulling out of the BJP from the coalition. Governor’s rule has now been imposed in the state.

“When national security adviser Ajit Doval visited BJP president Amit Shah’s bungalow on Tuesday morning, home minister Rajnath Singh was sitting in his first-floor office in North Block,” the report said.

“Moments after the BJP announced its decision to pull out of the Jammu and Kashmir government, the home minister left his office and went to his official residence, the report quoting two senior home ministry officials said, adding that they felt Rajnath had so far been unaware of the impending decision,” it added.

The two officials are among others in the home ministry who told The Telegraph that neither Rajnath nor the government’s interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, appeared to have known about the decision to dump Mehbooba Mufti.

When the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir minder Ram Madhav announced the pullout, senior ministry officials said they were taken aback. “Forget about us, it seems even Rajnathji was not in the loop,” an official said.

Such was the resentment within the home ministry that one official went to the extent of saying: “Rajnath Singh is the official second-in-command in the government, but only on paper,” the report said.

The officials said Rajnath was perhaps the lone member in the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah dispensation taking a nuanced, if not divergent, stand on multiple issues, the report added.

According to the report they (officials) cited how Rajnath had pushed for the extension of the unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir but the Prime Minister decided to end it on Sunday following opposition from Doval and army chief Bipin Rawat. Sharma too was keen on a ceasefire extension.

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