Omar happy with centre’s backing on BJP march

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

JAMMU - Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is elated with the central government’s unqualified support in stopping the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) march to Srinagar and the treatment meted out to three top party leaders, sources say.

“The chief minister is happy with the centre’s support. Almost every one is speaking in his favour and he is rightly delighted,” a source in the government who has been interacting with him told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram Tuesday came out openly in support of the Kashmir government’s action against BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Sawraj and Ananth Kumar who were sent back from Jammu to Punjab Monday night.

The BJP has planned a ‘tiranga yatra’ on Republic Day Wednesday to hoist the national flag in Srinagar’s city centre Lal Chowk. The government has vowed to stop it saying it will stoke law and order problems in the valley. The three BJP leaders were taken into police custody to thwart the party’s plans.

“The order of the Jammu and Kashmir government should be respected,” Chidambaram said in a statement, adding that there was no justification for any step that would disturb peace in the state.

Sources said two things have elated the chief minister. First, the centre’s support to him and his actions against the BJP, which had become his bte noire during the summer unrest in Kashmir and demanded his dismissal and imposition of governor’s rule. Second, the positive effect he believes the decision will have in the Muslim-dominated Valley.

Omar Abdullah had tried to win support in the Valley Oct 6 last year, when he spoke of the dispute over the nature of accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India. His speech had come after his National Conference was losing face in Kashmir, especially after police killed 18 people on a single day Sep 13 during clashes with stone-pelting protestors.

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