Gadkari accuses Centre, J-K Govt. of playing politics over tricolour row

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NEW DELHI - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday accused the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir Government of playing politics over the flag hoisting row, and terming the detention of senior party leaders as unfortunate alleged that they were bowing to pressure from separatists.

Gadkari slammed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government and the National Conference accusing them of being two-faced and of playing politics over the BJP’s plans to hoist the national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk.

“See, on one hand they are putting (them) in prison and then on the other hand giving an invitation? This is politics. When we were going, then why didn’t they allow us to go? And what is the point of giving an invitation now? You put big politicians of the opposition party behind bars, get police force and baton-charge them over there. And then you are talking so,” Gadkari told reporters after hoisting the tricolour at the BJP headquarters here.

“This is very unfortunate; Congress and National Conference both have bowed to militants. They are not worried about patriotic people. They are concerned about the militants coming in from across the border; they have bowed to them. This proves everything,” he added.

Gadkari also slammed the government for not being courageous enough to hoist the national flag in the restive Kashmir Valley.

“On 26th January, every Indian hoists the tricolour. The government does not have the courage to hoist the tricolour. The politicians who do not have the courage stop others from hoisting it, and then blame and accuse us of playing politics. They have bowed to militants and that is why they talk like this. And that is why I feel that today that hoisting the national flag is not politics and is a national duty,” he said.

Meanwhile, even as the BJP remains adamant on its demand of unfurling the national flag at Lal Chowk, Srinagar, senior party leader Rajnath Singh along with other members broke his hunger strike today after Nitin Gadkari intervened in the matter.

“I requested him not to be on hunger strike on a national festival,” said Gadkari.

Earlier on Tuesday, scores of BJP activists including party veterans Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar and Anurag Thakur were taken into custody under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) while marching towards Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab to carry on with the plans of hoisting the national flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on Republic Day.

The marchers carrying the national flag in their hands and shouting slogans “Bharat Mata ki jai” breached the barriers put up by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

On Monday, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj were not allowed to leave the Jammu airport.

Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha national president Anurag Thakur is leading the Rashtriya Ekta Yatra, which was scheduled to reach Srinagar today.

The Yatra was expected to cover 3,037 km and enter the State on the afternoon of January 24 at Pathankot. (ANI)

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