We welcome political support but won’t share platform: Samiti

19 August 2008
The Indian Express
Suman K Jha

New Delhi: The Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS) on Tuesday said while it welcomed support from all political parties, it wouldn’t share a platform with any party. “We are getting support from the BJP, Congress and National Conference here. We would like the movement to be this way. This people’s movement is a battle between nationalists and anti-nationals,” SASS convener Leela Karan Sharma told The Indian Express, after the BJP deferred the programme of its leaders L K Advani and Rajnath Singh to address a rally in Jammu on August 25. “The claim that we are boycotting the BJP is baseless. We welcome support from all parties. We are committed to taking this movement to all parts of the country,” Sharma said. The BJP, however, said there was some “communication gap” over the rally date. While sources didn’t rule out an all-party rally in support of the SASS, some BJP members said its top leaders would visit Jammu at a later date “in solidarity with the SASS demands”. “We would welcome support from everyone, whether it’s Swami Ramdev or Chaitanya Maharaj.” The SASS said peace could not be restored in J&K “as long as Governor N N Vohra is at the helm of affairs”. The BJP, meanwhile, called a Congress spokesperson comparing Amarnath protestors with Hurriyat leaders “appeasement politics at its worst.” “A Congress spokesperson said the Samiti is the Hurriyat’s other side. We strongly condemn it,” said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad here on Tuesday.