'Quit PDP Alliance' Letter Costs J And K BJP Leader His Job

4 August 2015
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: His views on the BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir have caused a senior state leader dear, with the party removing him from the post of political adviser to BJP state president Jugal Kishore Sharma. Hari Om recently wrote a letter to party national president Amit Shah, urging him to quit alliance with the PDP in J&K. A communique issued by Sharma on Tuesday said R S Pura MLA Gagan Bhagat would now serve as his political adviser. 'He will take charge immediately,' it added. In his letter dated July 31, Hari Om criticised the party's alliance with the PDP and asserted that the BJP was losing ground in Jammu, from where it won all its 25 seats in the J&K Assembly. 'I came to know about the appointment of Bhagat through media reports. The appointment has been made in supersession of all previous orders, meaning the state BJP has decided to remove me as the political adviser to the state president,' Hari Om said. He said Sharma and the party hierarchy have the powers to take such a decision. 'But the way the decision was taken clearly indicates that normal political propriety and democratic tradition were not followed in this matter,' he added. 'It seems my views about the dangers in embarking on a course in Jammu and Kashmir by forming an alliance with the PDP have not gone down well with the party leaders, who want to pursue this course at any price,' he said. Hari Om's letter to Shah had said that the failure to declare an AIIMS-like medical institution in Jammu, as promised by the party, served as a critical catalyst. The people of Jammu saw that failure as a part of a bigger ideological betrayal on which the party seemed to have embarked upon. 'The anger against the BJP in Jammu has risen to such a level that soon the BJP activists, not to speak of the local leaders, will become persona non grata for the people of Jammu. Granting of AIIMS will certainly assuage the hurt feelings, but the actual remedy for the predicament in which the BJP is today is coming out of the present government and owning its actual role in the state,' he added. The BJP is on the back foot in its home turf Jammu, following agitation by traders and opposition parties under the banner of AIIMS Coordination Committee (ACC) over establishing of AIIMS-like institute in Jammu.