Congress 'misled' Azad over Amarnath: Lal Singh

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Jammu, Sep 2: Hinting at the divide in state Congress leadership, Member of Parliament from Doda-Udhampur constituency, Choudhary Lal Singh blamed the Congress leaders for the Jammu turmoil and alleged that former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, was 'misled' by former Congress cabinet ministers on the Amarnath land row, while revoking transfer order to the Shrine Board.

The Minister said, ''The erstwhile Congress Cabinet Ministers in Azad-led government, misled Mr Azad over revocation of land transfer order, which led to the turmoil in the City of Temples. Had the former chief minister not been 'misled' and the ministers had not taken the people of Jammu for granted, the Amarnath issue would not have left Jammu burning.'' Addressing a joint press conference here last evening, the former Congress legislator appreciated the people of Jammu for their united stand and congratulated them for achieving success after two-month-long agitation by securing 800 kanals of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) at Baltal and Domail for creating infrastructural facilities for Amarnath pilgrims.

The leaders, however, also lauded the people for maintaining their secular character, while carrying out the agitation and added, ''It was 60-year-old discrimination for people of Jammu, which turned this agitation into the mass movement.'' Meanwhile, former legislators Yogesh Sawhney, Raman Bhalla, Girdhari Lal Chalotra, MLC R S Chib and Deputy Speaker in the Legislative Council Ravinder Mickey expressed their gratitude to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister Shivraj Patil for the settlement of land issue as per the wishes of people and also demanded compensation to the traders, farmers and others, who suffered due to prolonged bandh.

UNI

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