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Omar cautions BJP against hoisting flag
Jammu, Jan 6 (IANS/PTI):
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Published on 6 Jan. 2011 11:43 PM IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will go ahead with its plans to hoist the Indian tricolour at the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day despite Chief Minister Omar Abdullah having cautioned the party against it, a party official said on Thursday.
Reacting to the chief minister’s assertions on Wednesday that hoisting the Indian national flag at Lal Chowk on Jan 26 would serve as a provocation to the people of Kashmir, the BJP leaders here have said that “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, and they would go ahead with the plan”.
“We will go ahead with the plan to hoist the national tricolour in Srinagar,” national executive committee member and former state unit president of the party, Nirmal Singh told newsmen on Thursday in reaction to the chief minister’s warning.
“What the chief minister said amounts to instigating the people in the Kashmir Valley to react,” Singh said while referring to Abdullah’s charge that “BJP wanted to set Kashmir on fire”.
The chief minister had also questioned the wisdom of flag hoisting by the BJP when the state ministers, officers and security establishments would be unfurling the national flag across the state on Republic Day.
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has already warned against hoisting of the national tricolour in Lal Chowk. “We will see who will hoist the flag at Lal Chowk on Jan 26,” he had stated at a seminar in Srinagar on Tuesday. The BJP, on the other hand, has maintained the flag hoisting was part of its nationwide campaign for unity and solidarity.
JD(U) asks BJP to postpone flag hoisting
Key NDA ally JD(U) on Thursday objected to the BJP’s plan to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on the Republic Day and appealed to it to postpone the programme so that peace is not “hampered” there. “I appeal to the BJP to postpone its programme to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk for the interest of both the country and Kashmir.
“Right now, there is peace in the Valley which has arrived due to the diligent efforts of people there and steps should be taken at this time to strengthen that peace instead of doing anything which hampers it,” party President Sharad Yadav said in interview.
Yadav’s comments came a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reacted sharply to the plans to hoist the flag saying that BJP wants to set the Valley on fire again and warning that if there were any repercussions, he would hold that party responsible. Replying to questions on what, he as NDA convenor, has to say on the need for the programme, Yadav categorically said, “this is not NDA’s programme. It is BJP’s programme.”
BJP has announced that its youth wing would take out a ‘Rashtriya Ekta Yatra’ from Kolkata to Srinagar starting January 12 and culminating with hoisting of the national flag at Lal Chowk on Republic Day, saying it aims at strengthening “national solidarity and sovereignty”.
The party also constituted a study team led by Rajnath Singh to visit trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir and submit a report on the ground situation in the state.
BJP has flayed Abdullah’s remark saying its aim was to promote national sovereignty and it did not need a certificate from the leader who makes “arrogant” statements. Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, “This is part of a campaign for national sovereignty and solidarity.”
Yadav, however, was of the view that peace is prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir after a long time and people in the Valley have made a move forward for peace and development and hence nothing should be done which hampers this development.
“People in the Valley came forward to stop the cycle of violence for the sake of future of their children. At mass level, people made initiatives to ensure the running of educational institutions in the state.
“The country should read a message into it. There is peace and we should make efforts to maintain this peace. It’s people of the Valley, who have normalised the situation and and we have to strengthen their resolve all the more. We should not do any such thing from our side that hampers peace there,” Yadav said.

 
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