Though senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley joined the all-party delegation headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil to Jammu and Srinagar to defuse the ongoing crisis, the saffron party on Friday went ahead with its plans to campaign over the Amarnath row at the national level.
Backing the Jammu-based Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti stand that the 100 acres of land originally allocated to the Amarnath shrine board must be returned, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told presspersons in New Delhi that the only solution to the crisis lay in return of the land.
With the Amarnath Yatra ending on August 18 and likelihood of the agitation petering out in Jammu after that being strong, the BJP intends to convert the land row into a poll issue.
The party plans to organise demonstrations in front of Raj Bhavans in all states from August 11-13 to protest against what V.K. Malhotra condemned as the worst form of “communal appeasement” by the government.
As the BJP upped the ante, the Congress found itself on a sticky wicket in Jammu & Kashmir. Its own workers in Jammu maintained their demand for Governor N.N. Vohra’s removal and called for elections in the state only after the situation is brought under control.
Several Congressmen blamed former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for creating a situation that has got neither the Muslims nor the Hindus on their side but also surcharged the atmosphere communally.
Though the delegation headed by Patil will visit Srinagar as well, it will hardly get a warm welcome there.
This is because the heads of two rival factions of the All Parties Hurriyat Conaference, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq were placed under house arrest soon after violent protests broke out in the Valley over the land transfer order.