4 August 2008: Sonia Gandhi and Shivraj Patil's conversations respectively with Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley on the worsening Amarnath land dispute constitutes unprecedented consultations between the two rival national parties. And if the intention on the Congress side is not to score points against the BJP, and not use this consultation to divide the Jammu movement for restoring forty hectares of forest land in Baltal and Domail to the Amarnath Shrine Board to make temporary facilities for pilgrims, then it is welcome. Any attempt at mischief, after the distressing volte-face of the PDP, which first made provisions for diverting the land to the board, and then opposed it as an ally of the Ghulam Nabi Azad government, after it provoked a violent agitation in Kashmir, would take the emotion of the Jammu movement out of the state and spread it nationwide. If that gets clubbed with the agitation to protect the Ram Sethu, it would reflect badly on the UPA but especially the Congress with only a few months left for the general elections. PDP's Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference father and son Farooq and Omar Abdullah have played the condemnable Kashmiri Muslim card. This writer supported the Congress when it took power by rotation in J and K from the PDP, because a sensitive border state needed to be administered by a national party after decades of misgovernance by regional outfits. The Ghulam Nabi government fell when the PDP withdrew support on the Amarnath land controversy. But in power, the Azad government played a by and large constructive role, although towards the end, differences arose with the then governor, Lieutenant-General S.K.Sinha (retired).