Omar, BJP lock horns on hoisting Tricolour

Even as Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah voiced his disapproval of plans by BJP’s youth wing to hoist the national flag in Srinagar, the BJP on Wednesday described the programme as part of a campaign for national solidarity and sovereignty. The BJP and its youth wing are organising a Rashtriya Ekta Yatra starting from Kolkata which will travel through several states and culminate in Srinagar with the hoisting of the national flag at Lal Chowk on Republic Day. Asking the BJP to drop its Lal Chowk plan, Abdullah warned the party that it would be responsible for “any repercussions” in the Valley. He said it’s an attempt to “set Kashmir on fire again’’. He questioned the need for it when an official function is organised to hoist the flag there on the Republic Day. “On January 26, the flag will be hoisted at numerous places — at every district headquarters, security camp, Army establishment and government buildings,’’ he said. “What is the need for an individual to hoist the flag?’’. The CM accused the party of creating trouble, when the Valley is witnessing calm after months of street protests between June and September last year that left over 110 people dead. “The BJP is unhappy that Kashmir is quiet and wants to set it on fire again,’’ he said. The BJP, on its part, defended its decision. “J&K is an integral part of India. We are going to carry the national flag not in one state, but through several,’’ party leader Arun Jaitley said.

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