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Participate in flag hoisting: BJP to Omar
Published on 23 Jan. 2011 12:05 AM IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday reiterated plans to hoist the tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk Jan 26, saying it has the right to unfurl the national flag anywhere in the country.
Party MP Anurag Thakur even asked Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to join in unfurling the flag in Lal Chowk even as Jammu and Kashmir began sealing its borders with Punjab as a preventive measure.
“We are living in a free nation and we have the right to hoist our national flag anywhere in the country. So what is the problem in hoisting the tri-colour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk in Kashmir Valley?” said Thakur here.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is on a visit to China, also has justified the plans and even appealed to Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling National Conference and ally Congress party to join his party and make flag-hoisting in Lal Chowk an all-party event.
“We don’t find anything wrong in hoisting the national flag in our own country,” Gadkari told Indian journalists in China.
Striking the same note, Thakur told reporters here: “Despite all opposition, we invite Omar Abdullah to accompany us to Lal Chowk. This is a good opportunity for Abdullah to prove his loyalty towards the country.”
Thakur, who is the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president and the MP from the Hamirpur constituency in Himachal Pradesh, is leading the Rashtriya Ekta Yatra, or campaign for national unity, which started from Kolkata Jan 12.
The march is to culminate Jan 26 with the BJP’s planned national flag hoisting at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, though the state government has said this will not be allowed.
“There are only a handful of weak people who are against this initiative. We should not let separatists dictate things to us. We have to ignore them. We are committed to pursuing our campaign peacefully and do not pose any threat to the law and order situation,” he added.
The BJP activists participating inthe march are expected to cross the border town of Lakhanpur in Jammu Jan 24 and then head towards Srinagar.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has expressed deep reservations about the BJP’s flag hoisting plan, terming it a bid to inflame communal passions in the valley, and separatist leaders have also voiced their strong opposition to it.
Jammu and Kashmir Police Saturday were engaged in sealing the state’s border with Punjab at Lakhanpur.
The state government has said it will not allow any “programme which has the potential of vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the state”.

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