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Cong, BJP unite against Vohra

Governor NN Vohra is again in the line of fire for repealing the order to transfer land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, reports Arun Joshi.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2008 23:47 IST
Arun Joshi

Governor NN Vohra is again in the line of fire for repealing the order to transfer land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

But this time, the accusations are coming thick and fast from sections of both the Congress and the BJP.

Vohra wrote a letter on June 29, asking then Congress chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad if the government could take charge of Amarnath pilgrimage. The Azad government agreed, despite having been reduced to minority after the PDP pullout.

But Vohra had made a proposition, and not a decision. The official release of June 29 says, "In view of the state government's firm commitment that the requirements and interests of the Yatris will be fully ensured and protected, the SASB does not need to pursue its earlier request for forest land being diverted for creating the required temporary facilities for the Yatris by the Board and I have addressed the Chief Minister accordingly in this regard."

State BJP president Ashok Khajuria, who repeats his war cry "Vohra must go" at almost every press conference, said he had trusted Congress ministers Gulchain Singh Charak and Mangat Ram Sharma, who claimed before the media that their government had "rescinded the order because the Governor, who is also the chairman of the board, wanted it".

But privately, they said given the grave situation in the Valley, they had no other option. They had no answers either as to why the government chose to keep quiet when the first signs turbulence started appearing during the last week of May.

Now, a section of Congress leadership blames Vohra for the situation. They allege that as anti-national rallies were held unchallenged, it was the Governor who wanted the order to be rescinded.