Congress, PDP slam BJP’s flag hoisting plan

Thursday, January 6, 2011

JAMMU - A day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah cautioned the BJP against hoisting the national flag at the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day, the Congress and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its plan.

State Congress president Saif-ud-Din Soz said: BJP has embarked on a policy of dividing the people. The move to hoist the flag on Republic Day is a political gimmick to gain the political mileage and reflective of vote bank politics.

Soz was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a party function here.

Earlier Thursday, PDP patron and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said that whenever the BJP was out of power, it resorted to such “gimmicks”.

He said that when the BJP was in power, it did not talk of abrogation of Article 370 (granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir within Indian union), and now it is raking up the issue while it is out of power.

Almost all parties in Kashmir, including the separatists, have decided to oppose the BJP’s Republic Day plans.

The BJP, on the other hand, has maintained the flag hoisting was part of its nationwide campaign for unity and solidarity.

Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part and we are within our rights to hoist the flag on the national festival in any part of the country, Nirmal Singh, member of the national executive of the party, told reporters Wednesday.

He was reacting to Omar Abdullah’s statements terming the flag hoisting a “provocative act”, saying that he feared the move could trigger a fresh wave of violent protests in the Valley.

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