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Updated: January 25, 2011 02:09 IST

A reminder of Emergency: BJP

Neena Vyas
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Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday to register protest over stopping of party leaders who arrived at the Jammu airport to participate in the
Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday to register protest over stopping of party leaders who arrived at the Jammu airport to participate in the "Ekta Yatra”. File photo

Advani speaks to Manmohan, protests against J&K government's action

The Bharatiya Janata Party has found itself isolated politically with not even allies in the National Democratic Alliance approving its Ekta Yatra plan to hoist the tricolour at Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Republic Day.

As the Omar Abdullah government moved swiftly to prevent BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar from leaving the Jammu airport where they were detained — they had gone there to lead the last leg of the yatra and address a public meeting in Jammu on Tuesday — the party reacted here strongly, saying it was reminded of the Emergency when the Opposition's right to agitate peacefully had been snatched and Opposition leaders arrested.

While senior leader L.K. Advani called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to protest the detention, the former BJP president, Rajnath Singh, spoke to President Pratibha Patil. They said the freedom to hoist the national flag anywhere should not be jeopardised, and questioned the State government's detention and attempt at forcibly sending the leaders back to Delhi.

Rajghat protest

Mr. Singh, along with a group of party leaders and workers, would sit in protest at the Rajghat till Wednesday morning.

Despite the BJP's political isolation on this issue — even the Bihar coalition partner, the Janata Dal (United), said it disapproved of the ally's plan which could create problems in a sensitive State — party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad charged the Jammu and Kashmir government with acting at the behest of and in collusion with the Centre and the Congress.

He described the detention of the BJP leaders at the airport as undemocratic and unconstitutional, and wondered why any Indian should not be allowed to go to Jammu or Kashmir.

However, asked why the Kalyan Singh government in 1992 prevented V.P. Singh and a number of other political leaders from going to Ayodhya — they were detained in Lucknow — Mr. Prasad did not respond.

The BJP's charge was that by opposing the Ekta Yatra, the State and Central governments were “standing with the separatists” in Kashmir.

“We did not want confrontation with the political parties or people of the State. If there was any confrontation at all, it was with the separatists, [and] between the patriots and the separatists. Today the Government of India is standing with the separatists [by opposing the Yatra],” Mr. Prasad said.

Did that mean all political parties across the spectrum opposed to the Yatra — barring the BJP and perhaps the Shiv Sena all have said it should be cancelled as it could undo the peace in the State — were standing with the separatists and were unpatriotic?

Mr. Prasad's response: “This is your inference. I only said this is the message that has been conveyed [that the Centre is standing with the separatists].”

Denies reports

Mr. Prasad denied media reports that some known stone throwers in Srinagar were BJP sympathisers and even its office-bearers in the State. “This was a police version,” he said.

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True, emergency is back and this time its more dangerous than emergency as this time emergency is for raising tricolor.

from:  Bhavin
Posted on: Jan 26, 2011 at 16:08 IST

What fruitful action the government of India has taken against the separatists so far? Do the center and also the rulers in Kashmir want to keep the state as sensitive for all times for their selfish reasons? They are helping the Pakistan rulers who also wants to keep Kashmir as a sensitive state for their own selfish purposes. The poor Kashmir people are suffering without any progress in their land in the hands of the rulers of Kashmir,India and Pakistan. All the world nations and the impotent U.N.O are witnessing this drama endlessly! May God help the hopeless Kashmiris.

from:  Sivanath T.L.
Posted on: Jan 26, 2011 at 05:45 IST

It is the fundamental right of every Indian to hoist the National Flag at any respectable site of his choice,why the center and state government blocking it,any person those sporting this blocked is anti Indian & anti national,where is freedom of expression?

from:  N.Kaushik
Posted on: Jan 25, 2011 at 18:54 IST

Everyone has the right to hoist the flag anywhere in the country. By detention we ourselves have explicitly shown that J&K is a sensitve region even though it is a part of India. Why one should be afraid of anyone when we are not doing any wrong. If this state of condition continues what moral confidence our young generation will have ?.

from:  Sameer Kulkarni
Posted on: Jan 25, 2011 at 18:07 IST

It is actually also a reminder of pre-Independence days. The British govt prevented Nehru from entering Kashmir, and Nehru was injured in police action. Now the UPA and J&K have taken over the role of British govt.

from:  Bandit Moorkhjee
Posted on: Jan 25, 2011 at 14:21 IST

To hoist the tricolour at Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Republic Day is a very good decision. If it creates problems in the sensitive state , then it is the govt. duty to control it, rather stopping the yatra and stopping indians to hoist the flag in INDIA , that too on republic day is really UNDEMOCRATIC.

from:  Ramoji
Posted on: Jan 25, 2011 at 01:18 IST

I am surprised that media along with congress and J&K govt would paint this issue as if Lal Chowk is not part of India and BJP is committing a crime by hoisting Indian flag there.

Where were you guys when Pakistan flag was hoisted at the same place some months ago? Why allow a pakistani flag to be hoisted freely in the so called democratic India and not allow Indian flag.

It is sad that these things can happen only in India and media is playing petty politics along with vote hungry congress govt. who wants to divide India along communal lines.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Jan 25, 2011 at 01:02 IST
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