Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ekta Yatra Challenge to Separatists, Not Govt: Advani

Ekta Yatra Challenge to Separatists, Not Govt: Advani

New Delhi | Jan 20, 2011

Questioning Jammu and Kashmir government's opposition to BJP's Ekta Yatra, senior party leader L K Advani today said the move was in no way challenging the state government but separatists.

"Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said the move will precipitate things in the Valley. It is a provocative step. It is provocative not for India but its enemies...We are not challenging the government but the separatists," he said.

He was addressing the Ekta Yatra of BJP youth wing which reached here on way to Kashmir where party leaders plan to hoist national flag at historic Lal Chowk.

The state government has objected to the plans of hoisting the tricolour and asked BJP not to go ahead with it.

Advani said it was the duty of the state government to ensure that the national flag is hoisted at Lal Chowk successfully. "The government should help in hoisting the flag. It is the government's duty to do so...It should not forget its duty," he said.

The BJP leader questioned the recent statement of Abdullah that Jammu and Kashmir had only accessed to India through a treaty and not merged with it on the lines of Hyderabad and Junagarh. "I am surprised at the statement," he said.

Referring to the decision of Bharatiya Jan Sangh leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee's decision not to seek 'permit' for entering Jammu and Kashmir, Advani said "provocation was necessary for achievements...His decision ensured that permit raj ended in that state soon after his demise there. After that the President and the Supreme Court had jurisdiction over Jammu and Kashmir."

Advani said the plan of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to introduce Article 370 in the Constitution to provide special status to Jammu and Kashmir was opposed by several Congress members before the draft went to the Constituent Assembly.

In an apparent attack on the state government for its objections to BJP's plan to hoist flag in Srinagar, he said under the earlier Flag Code it was a crime for the common man to waive or hoist national flag except on Republic Day and Independence Day.

"When I was the Deputy Prime Minister, I worked to change the Code so that the common man could also fly the flag...Today when I hand over the national flag to Anurag Thakur (BJYM president) to hoist it in Kashmir, I know I am not committing a crime (under the flag code)," he said.

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