Jammu, Aug 7 (UNI) Bowing to the ferocity of agitation for the restoration of the Amarnath land in Jammu, former Congress party MLAs, representing the winter capital region in the dissolved State Legislative Assembly, today distanced themselves from the decision of the all-party meet convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday.
In a joint press conference at the residence of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee's General Secretary R S Chib, five MLAs disassociated themselves from the decision taken at the meeting in New Delhi to end the crisis over Amarnath land row, which has polarised the state.
''Centre must reconsider its decision and remove Mr N N Vohra as the state Governor and this is a popular demand besides restoration of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB),'' Mr Chib, who is also a sitting MLC, said.
''We are with the people of Jammu and will remain with them in their genuine struggle, demanding land restoration,'' he said, with the support of former ministers Suman Bhagat, Yogesh Sawhney and MLAs Mr Raman Bhalla, Sham Lal Sharma and Manohar Lal.
The leaders failed to reply satisfactorily when asked if there was no say of Congress leaders from Jammu in New Delhi, as Centre turned down the demand for Mr Vohra's removal, despite being advocated by the party's MPs from this region.
However, they said the Congress high command might be getting ''wrong feedback'' from the place.
On deployment of the Army in Jammu, Mr Chib said, ''This much force was never required against the peaceful protesters.'' He criticised Kashmir-based politicians and separatists for giving communal colour to the agitation in Jammu. ''There is even no single incident of communal violence here and people from all the faiths are supporting this movement,'' Mr Chib added.
He categorically rejected the ''baseless reports of blockages for Kashmir on the National Highway in Jammu''.
The Congress leaders unanimously said the State Government had utterly failed to meet the situation. ''They did not apprised the Centre of the ground realities in Jammu.'' Mr Sharma, former MLA from Akhnoor constituency, said not only government at the Centre but the national media had also failed to present the reality, diverting its focus towards Kashmir.
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