Advani urges cadre to ‘do or die’ for Amarnath cause

August 9th, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Saturday asked party workers to take a pledge to ‘do or die’ and push forward the demand for land for Amarnath pilgrims. “I want to say that people should get ready for sacrifice and struggle,” Advani told the Kranti rally held here by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the party’s youth wing, marking the 1942 Quit India Day.

Over 15,000 party workers from across India took part in the rally at the Ramlila grounds. It started Saturday morning and resulted in traffic jams in central Delhi.

The Jammu and Kashmir government had earlier this year allocated about 40 hectares of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for developing pilgrim facilities, but following protests in the Kashmir valley, revoked the order July 1.

The revocation has led to widespread protests in Jammu region, with support from BJP and other organisations.

Jammu has been on the boil for over five weeks now, with incessant violent protests and clashes that have left at least 15 people dead. Jammu has been reeling under a series of shutdowns and curfews amid violent protests.

Advani, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, said: “I appeal to all Muslims to support the issue as it is not for only Hindus but for all those who believe in God.

“We will support the Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (leading the agitation in Jammu) and will take this issue to people across India. We will not let the government have double standards.”

The BJP top brass was present on the occasion including party president Rajnath Singh, senior leaders Sushma Swaraj, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Murli Manohar Joshi, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Vijay Goel, Shahnawaz Hussain, Smriti Irani, Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan and BJYM president Amit Thakar.

The BJP leaders criticised the Congress-led government for its handling of several issues ranging from the Amarnath land row, the shipping project affecting the Ram Setu, the internal security situation and inflation.

“This government wants to end India’s own identity. The Congress government has questioned the existence of Ram but as long as the BJP is there no one would be able to break the Ram Setu,” said Rajnath Singh.

“Formed in 1980, BJP is in its youth with an age of 28. Even our Ramlala has become young,” Singh added.

BJYM president Amit Thakar took a dig at young leaders of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) including Congress MPs Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia for alleged dynasty politics.

“We will organise street plays across the country to expose the government,” Thakkar said.

Rallyists who had gathered at the rally ground from across the country raised slogans such as “Baba Amarnath hum aayenge, Zameen hum le ke rahenge” (Lord Amarnath we will come, we will take the land).

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