“When the PDP in Jammu & Kashmir withdrew support from the Congress government, the government succumbed to pressure and immediately revoked its decision and cancelled the land for Amarnath pilgrimage. For the last 100 years this historic pilgrimage of Amarnath has been going on, why this discrimination against the Hindu pilgrimage all of a sudden?? Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Shri L.K. Advani asked. He accused the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre of succumbing to even a slight pressure from fundamentalists of other religions but thinking nothing for the Hindu community. ?While I was on a visit to the Amarnath cave this year, a lot of pilgrims complained lot of problems during the visit. While the Army had provided all sorts of help to the pilgrims, some say the PDP does not want this,? he said.
?If more land helps in improving facilities for Vaishno Devi pilgrims, why should there be any opposition to a similar arrangement in Amarnath?? he asked while alleging that the decision on the shrine land was taken by the Congress in J&K on behest of its national leadership.
?It'snot a question of land; in fact land is only an excuse, the Congress quickly surrenders before the religious fanatics and the fundamentalists?, he said. Shri Advani termed the decision to revoke the land allotted to the Amarnath Shrine Board as an example of vikrat (distorted) secularism and the Congress is doing it for pretty vote bank politics.
Shri Advani also criticised Omar Abdullah'sreported statement that there should be a rethink on the land allotted to the Army. He charged the Congress with insulting Hindus only to save its government in J&K. ?The coalition led by the Congress in J&K is bothered about saving its government but the one it leads at the Centre is determined to go ahead with the nuclear deal in total disregard of the Left'sobjections.? He stated: ?Had it not been for Syama Prasad Mookerjee'sstruggle in the valley, Congress would never have come to power there and the J&K would have been under ?their? rule,? he said.
He further said if the NDA is voted to power, it would create a separate department under the Ministry of Tourism to promote religious tourism in a big way. Shri Advani said there is a strong possibility of early general elections and the voters would be drawn to the NDA owing to its good record in office. ?The contrast between the coalition led by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee and Smt Sonia Gandhi would attract voters towards the NDA.? He said Dr Manmohan Singh is only a ?formal? PM while Sonia Gandhi calls the shots. He claimed that Dr Singh'simage had taken a beating when he inducted MPs facing criminal charges and cases into his ministry.
(By Deepak Kr. Rath)