The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday pulled out of its alliance with the Mehbooba Mufti led- People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, BJP's vice president and general secretary, Ram Madhav, said, "It has become untenable for the BJP to continue with the alliance government in Jammu and Kashmir."
Three years ago, in March 2015, the PDP and the BJP had come together for the first to form the government in J&K, with PDP's founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as chief minister.
Sayeed, Mufti's father, has dubbed the PDP-BJP alliance as the meeting of "North Pole and South Pole."
The December assembly election, which recorded one of the highest voter turnouts in J&K, led to PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats, BJP 25, National Conference 15 and Congress 12.
Mufti, who was sworn in as the CM in April 2016, three months after her father passed away, has resigned.
"We tried our best to run the government with the BJP. This had to happen. This is a surprise for us because we did not have any indication about their decision," Rafi Ahmad Mir, PDP's spokesperson, told ANI.
While the BJP-PDP alliance was never on a sure footing, tensions escalated following the rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu, earlier this year. Two BJP lawmakers in the state, Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, who attended a rally supporting the accused in the rape case, were forced to resign.
In May, the central government had decided that it would not carry out anti-terror operations in J&K during the month of Ramzan. Last week, a few days after a well-known Kashmiri journalist named Shujaat Bukhari was gunned down in Srinagar, the centre ended the ceasefire and resumed offensive operations against terrorists.
An army jawan named Aurangzeb, who was abducted by militants in Pulwama, was also found dead, last week.
Madhav said today that there was no question of suspending anti-terror operations after Bukhari's killing.
"Terrorism, violence and radicalisation have risen and fundamental rights of the citizens are under danger in the Kashmir valley. Despite support from the Central govt, PDP failed to control the situation," the BJP leader said.
"Keeping in mind the larger interest of India's integrity and to bring the deteriorating situation in the state under control, it would be apt to hand over the governance to the governor of J&K," he said.