The fractious Bharatiya Janata Party and People’s Democratic Party alliance in Jammu and Kashmir came to an end on Tuesday, three years after the two disparate parties banded together in light of a hung verdict in the 2014 Assembly elections. The BJP pulled out of the alliance saying it has become “untenable to continue”, plunging the state into political uncertainty. Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP has resigned as chief minister of the state and Governor’s Rule is likely to be imposed.
The ideologically divergent allies did not see eye to eye on various matters but things came to a head after the murder and alleged rape of an eight-year-old Muslim girl from the Bhakarwal nomadic community in Kathua in January. Some of the BJP’s leaders had come out in support of the rape accused in the case. This put the PDP in a spot, making it harder for the party to defend the alliance. The parties have also differed on how to tackle militancy and separatist demands in the state, most recently seen in their disparate stances on the ceasefire on anti-terror operations declared for the month of Ramzan. The decision to end the ceasfire reportedly upset the PDP.
On Twitter, news of the alliance’s end was greeted by a flurry of responses. While some social media users took the humorous route to unpack various facets of the break-up, others had a more cynical response. Many also came out in support of the BJP, while others blamed the saffron party for its policies in Kashmir. Still others held both responsible for the crisis in the state.
Twitter user @RoflGandhi, speculated that Mufti might now approach the National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah for a tie-up. Using a 2015 picture of Mufti presenting a shawl to BJP President Amit Shah to commemorate their alliance, @RoflGandhi’s Hindi tweet translates to, “Give the shawl back, have to give it to Abdullahiji”. Son and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah then weighed in.
Several users also resurrected popular memes like the “distracted boyfriend” and the more recent Ghar Se Nikalte Hi meme that took Indian Twitter by storm, popularly used to capture a rapid turn of events or an abrupt volte-face.
The unfailing support of BJP loyalists was pointed out by several Twitter users.