BJP openly backs Samiti, Advani to speak at rally | delhi | Hindustan Times
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BJP openly backs Samiti, Advani to speak at rally

Vowing to intensify the agitation over the land transfer issue, BJP leaders LK Advani and Rajnath Singh will address a mass rally in Jammu, reports Shekhar Iyer.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2008 22:56 IST
Shekhar Iyer

Vowing to intensify the agitation over the land transfer issue, BJP leaders LK Advani and Rajnath Singh will address a mass rally in Jammu on August 25. The rally is being planned by the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti.

The move is seen as open endorsement of the stir by the BJP, which had till now sought to distance itself from what it described as a “nationalist upsurge” of the people of Jammu.

So far, local lawyers and businessmen, backed by RSS-affiliated units, have been spearheading the 58-day agitation.

Leaders like Advani, Rajnath, MM Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj met on Monday and decided on a series of agitations to keep the issue alive and turn the heat on the UPA. Jaitley briefed them on the situation.

Later, the BJP national office bearers passed a resolution that “the massive and peaceful peoples’ protest, which is continuing in the Jammu region, is not only unique but unparalleled in the history of democractic movements in the country”.

Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “People from every segment of society, including those from every community and faith, came out with the Indian flag to protest against this meek surrender (by the UPA) before patently anti-India demands.”

The party will reiterate that the issue is “neither Hindu versus Muslim nor Jammu versus the Kashmir Valley. It is essentially nationalist versus separatist.”

The BJP leaders condemned the hoisting of the Pakistani flag at places in Kashmir on Independence Day and the statements from Pakistan. They said “the nationalist elements in the Kashmir valley (read Farooq and Omar Abdullahs) must rise to the occasion and firmly speak against the voice of secession, which is only being encouraged from across the border.”