Questioning the Prime Minister’s reservations on BJP’s plan to unfurl the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, party veteran L.K. Advani today said the “State is surrendering” to the separatists who have declared that they will not let the tricolour be hoisted.

“If the rationale for the prohibitory orders is apprehension of breach of peace, curbs should be targeted towards those who have declared that they will not let the tricolour be put up at the Lal Chowk....

“And certainly not against those who have been repeatedly asserting that they will peacefully, and respectfully, unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk,” Mr. Advani wrote in his latest blog posting titled ‘Let not the State surrender to separatists’

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on the issue yesterday, Mr. Advani voiced hope that he would realise that BJP Yuva Morcha activists were “not trying to score a political point” but were instead challenging the separatists.

“And the State is surrendering to them,” he said.

Dubbing the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government not to allow BJP hoist flag at Lal Chowk as “perverse”, he said the government should realise the “enormity of the shame our authorities are inviting for themselves“ by their move.

The BJP parliamentary party chairman recalled how separatists had hoisted the Pakistani flag on Eid at Lal Chowk last year in full media glare and wondered why Indian flag cannot be hoisted at the historic place on Republic Day.

He also referred to Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s legal battle seeking freedom for the common man to hoist and wave the national flag.

“About the same time as the Home Ministry had taken cognisance of the objections many private citizens had expressed to the restrictive Flag Code that prevailed, a Delhi citizen Naveen Jindal, today a Member of Parliament, had taken the matter to the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court in its judgement in Jindal’s case described the citizen’s right to fly the national flag a fundamental right subject only to reasonable restrictions spelt out in the two statutes,” Mr. Advani wrote.

He said the changed Flag Code clearly mentions that there shall be no restriction on the display of the national flag by members of general public, private organisations and educational institutions.

In his statement, the prime minister had said that it is not an occasion to score political points, to embarrass state and local administrations, to create situations that could lead to entirely avoidable problems, or to promote divisive agendas.

More In: National | News