BJP to launch countrywide agitation on Amarnath land issue
7 August 2008
The Hindustan Times
: A day after the government asked the BJP to reconsider its decision on a three-day nationwide agitation over the Amarnath land transfer issue, the party's core committee on Thursday decided to go ahead with the protest starting on Monday. 'The meeting discussed in detail about the latest developments in Jammu. The party is going ahead with the agitation programme. There is no change,' party sources told PTI after the meeting. The government had formally asked the BJP to suspend the agitation in order to facilitate the dialogue process with protestors of the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS). The all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was attended by BJP president Rajnath Singh and General Secretary Arun Jaitley. The meeting held on Thursday at BJP leader LK Advani's residence was attended by Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, General Secretary Sushma Swaraj and other senior leaders including MM Joshi. Sources said the BJP top brass is inclined towards a low-key agitation but the RSS is not ready to relent on the matter. While BJP feels that any more deterioration of the issue could benefit separatist forces, the RSS is of the view that 'a lot of blood has been already shed and there is no point in looking back.' The SASS, a body comprising of more than three dozen social and political outfits including the BJP, enjoys patronage of the RSS and is spearheading the current agitation in Jammu for over a month.