Protests outside Patna Raj Bhavan

K. Balchand

Protesters taken into custody"Insult to national flag"

PATNA: Demonstrations were staged outside the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday protesting the refusal of Governor Buta Singh to resign and his pronouncement to hoist the national flag at the State's main Republic Day function at the Gandhi Maidan here on Thursday.

A couple of Independent MLAs supporting the NDA Government here along with a section of lawyers and teachers staged a demonstration outside the Raj Bhavan after breaking the security cordon. They were taken into custody, but were released later. The demonstrators said they would boycott Thursday's function at the Gandhi Maidan and urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to stay away from it. They said it would be very shameful if a man whom the Supreme Court had held as acting in an unconstitutional manner were to hoist the flag.

They said that the man who had "murdered democracy and misled the Union Cabinet" had no right to continue in office and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervene in the matter and recall him.

The BJP State unit too has taken exception to the Governor hoisting the flag. Spokesperson Kiran Ghai said it would amount to insulting the national flag and making a mockery of the Constitution. She said party functionaries would show their protest by not attending the high tea that the Governor hosts at the Raj Bhavan on Republic Day. Party Ministers would, however, attend the function.

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