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Prime Minister to meet top political leaders today

The Centre will consult all the political parties to find a consensus on the problem that emerged over the land allocation to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2008 13:33 IST

As violence continued unabated in Jammu as well as Kashmir valley, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet top leaders of political parties in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss measures to calm the situation in the state and seek a consensus on how to end the impasse.

The Centre decided to rope in all the parties to find a consensus to the problem that emerged over the land allocation to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, a body overlooking the conduct of pilgrimage to the Holy cave shrine.

Top leaders of all political parties have been invited to the meeting where the Centre will brief them about the steps being taken by the government and would seek their cooperation in maintaining communal harmony in the state as well as in the country.

Apart from national political parties, all regional parties, including National Conference and People's Democratic Party, have been invited to the meeting.

The Union Home Ministry is constantly reviewing the violence in Jammu and Kashmir, which threatens to polarise the state along religious line.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, BJP chief Rajnath Singh and top leaders of Left parties leaders are expected to attend the meeting.

Ahead of today's meeting, the Prime Minister and the Congress President sought the opinion of Leader of Opposition LK Advani on the issue.

Singh and Gandhi, alongwith External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had a discussion with Advani on the issue during the state dinner hosted for visiting Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in New Delhi on Monday.

"Advaniji told the PM and Sonia Gandhi that some corrective measures were required to bring the situation back to normal," a senior BJP MP told reporters.

"Corrective measures" was a reference to taking back of the land revocation order, the MP said.

Advani reportedly told the three leaders that the current situation was a result of "government's panders to the separatist forces".

The leader of the opposition is said to have suggested that the union government should discuss the matter with the Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti spearheading the agitation to find a solution.
Advani yesterday suggested that government should convene a special session of Parliament to discuss, among other issues, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Congress yesterday accused BJP of being responsible for the continued violence in Jammu.

Asked if he was specifically blaming BJP for the row, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said "yes", adding, "If the BJP is a responsible national party, they should try and understand what the implications are for India".

BJP said a solution to the Amarnath land row was possible only if the Centre holds a direct talk with the protesters.

The party also accused the government of "not following the democratic norms" in combating the protesters.