JAMMU: Taking both the central and Jammu and Kashmir governments to task for stopping the Bhartiya Janta Party's planned " Ekta Yatra" (integration march) at Lakhanpur, senior party leaders said Wednesday this was done "to please the separatists".
"Both the central and the state governments have surrendered ideologically and psychologically to separatists," said senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley at a press conference in Jammu, referring to the government's "illegal actions" in stopping the yatra.
He was also referring to Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik, charged with murder of four Indian Air Force Officers, who had declared that he would not allow the BJP to hoist the national flag at the historic Lal Chowk.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah also had spoken against the BJP's plan and ordered the state machinery to do everything to stop the yatra and foil the BJP move.
Jaitley said the central government and the ministries of home and railways were guilty of "the crime of hijacking" by diverting the trains carrying the BJP workers on their way to join the "Ekta Yatra".
The party launched its yatra Jan 12 in Kolkata with an objective of unfurling the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on the Republic Day.
Arun Jaitley, along with Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Sawraj and Ananth Kumar, was detained at Jammu airport Monday and taken to Madhopur in Punjab.
They again marched to Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday with hundreds of the party workers carrying the national flags.
They were arrested and released from the hotel in Kathua, 85 km south of Jammu, where they were lodged at 12.40pm Wednesday.
The leaders alleged they were denied even the basic facilities of toilet and drinking water for more than two hours at the Jammu airport. They were given access to the terminal building only after home minister P Chidambaram intervened that day.
Earlier Wednesday, talking to media persons outside the hotel in Kathua, Sushma Sawraj said: "Tiranga Yatra has concluded because it was to culminate Jan 26 - Republic Day."
She said it is for the government to answer as to why "the two leaders of opposition (she and Arun Jaitley) were kept in custody on the Republic Day".
The Jammu and Kashmir government withdrew all the cases against them of violating prohibitory orders in Kathua to facilitate their release.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah had invited the BJP leaders to attend the Republic Day celebrations at Jammu or Srinagar. But they turned down the ofer, saying it was a self-contradiction.