Interlocutors ask BJP not to hoist tricolour

Interlocutors of the Centre on Wednesday urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to reconsider its decision to hoist the tricolour in Lal Chowk, Srinagar, on January 26 so that no hurdles are created in the ongoing peace moves.

The Jammu and Kashmir government is learnt to have made up its mind not to allow the BJP to go ahead with the plan. Top official sources told The Hindu that after assessing the situation on the ground the “government has made up its mind to not to give permission. This has serious consequences as we are going through consolidation of peace which was shattered during summer.” In this backdrop, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to discuss the issue.

The three interlocutors, Dileep Padgaonkar, Radha Kumar and M.M. Ansari, who are on their fourth visit to the State, met top leaders of the BJP and the National Panthers Party.

Speaking to journalists before leaving for Srinagar on Wednesday, Mr. Padgaonkar said that it was the right of every Indian citizen to hoist the tricolour. “But keeping in view the present situation we would like to request those who want to unfurl it in Srinagar to reconsider their decision. This exercise must be seen in a context as it can aggravate the situation and thwart the peace process which is under way,” he said.

Lal Chowk march

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik has also called for a “Lal Chowk march” on Republic Day apparently to counter the BJP plan. The government, the official sources said, had no option but to impose restrictions on that day to “maintain peace.”

The State BJP is also reportedly not in favour of the flag hoisting as it is likely to put the party in a difficult situation. A senior BJP leader said, “It was the decision of the central leadership of the party. Whether they go ahead with it or cancel it, it is their decision.”

Responding to a question on troop cut, Mr. Padgaonkar said the Home Ministry and the Army would “come on the same page.” “I think it will be done,” he said, suggesting that troop cut was on the anvil. “Why don't you allow both of them to engage in a dialogue and take a decision,” he asked the media, urging it to refrain from being judgmental.

The current visit, Mr. Padgaonkar said, was fruitful. “We could meet and talk to a lot many people, political groups like the BJP and the Panthers Party, and hear their points of view,”

He said the team was open to discussion with any group on any issue. “We are examining the four proposals and are working out on a synthesis of all these proposals and our endeavour is to narrow down the differences among them.”

He said the consensus that emerged out of discussions was that people wanted the State to stay as a single unit.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 10:38:54 PM |

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