BJP to join all-party delegation to Jammu

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (UNI) The BJP today reluctantly agreed to be part of the all-party delegation, headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, to Jammu to find out ways to resolve more than a month-long agitation on the Amarnath land issue.

After a telephonic conversation of BJP president Rajnath Singh with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the party asked general secretary Arun Jaitley to be part of the delegation, party spokesman Ravi Shanker Prasad said, maintaining that the Jammu agitation was a serious issue and the BJP would support any effort to bring normalcy in the state.

The party wanted that the Government should take the matter very seriously and take time bound steps keeping in view the sentiments of the millions of Hindus there, he said.

Primarily it was the responsibility of the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government to resolve the issue but yet the party decided to participate in the delegation in the coordinated effort to establish peace in Jammu where violence had been persisting ever since the state government revoked the decision of allotment of 100 hectare land to the Amarnath Shrine Board, Mr Prasad said.

Maintaining that mishandling by both the Centre as well as the state government was the cause responsible for the present situation, he alleged that both submitted to the demands of the separatist forces and did not adopt a secular and democratic approach over the issue.

''We believe that the government will take a systematic and time bound measures to find an amicable solution to the problem, taking into confidence the leaders of the Amarnath Shrine Board, spearheading the agitation,'' Mr Prasad said.

UNI KAS/MCN SK UCS1726

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