Janata Party (BJP) Saturday said it had the right to hoist the
national flag anywhere in the country, with party MP Anurag Thakur
even asking Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to join
in the party's plan to unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk in
Srinagar Jan 26.
"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.
"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," said Thakur told reporters here
Thakur, who is the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president
and the MP from Hamirpur seat in Himachal Pradesh, is leading the
Rashtriya Ekta Yatra, or campaign for national unity which started
The march is to culminate Jan 26 with the BJP's planned national
flag hoisting at Srinagar's Lal Chowk, though the Jammu and
Kashmir 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.
This yatra is expected to cross the border town of Lakhanpur in
Jammu Jan 24 and then it would 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.
The 15-day yatra, which was flagged off by BJP president Nitin
Gadkari in Kolkata Jan 12, is expected to cover a distance of over
3,000 km and pass through 12 states.
Thakur also accused the Jammu and Kashmir government of supporting
separatists in the valley.
"The Omar Abdullah government is not doing anything to bring back
the land of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. They have adopted a very
lenient attitude towards separatists and are the least concerned
about their own people," said Thakur.
He added, "They have given Rs.5 lakh each compensation to the
accused in stone pelting, who had injured over 2,500 policemen."
"They are providing a safe place for the activities of separatists
and legally bringing terrorists to the valley. They are the
biggest threat to Kashmir. If Kashmir is not safe, then it would
be a threat to the whole country."