Key NDA ally JD(U) on Thursday objected to the BJP's plan to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on the Republic Day and appealed to it to postpone the programme so that peace is not "hampered" there.
"I appeal to the BJP to postpone its programme to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk for the time being. This would be in the
interest of both the country and Kashmir.
"Right now, there is peace in the Valley which has arrived due to the diligent efforts of people there and steps should be taken at this time to strengthen that peace instead of doing anything which hampers it," party President Sharad
Yadav said in interview.
Yadav's comments came a day after Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reacted sharply to the plans to hoist
the flag saying that BJP wants to set the Valley on fire again and warning that if there were any repercussions, he would hold that party responsible.
Replying to questions on what, he as NDA convenor, has to say on the the need for the programme, Yadav categorically
said, "this is not NDA's programme. It is BJP's programme."
BJP has announced that its youth wing would take out a 'Rashtriya Ekta Yatra' from Kolkata to Srinagar starting
January 12 and culminating with hoisting of the national flag at Lal Chowk on Republic Day, saying it aims at strengthening "national solidarity and sovereignty".
The party also constituted a study team led by Rajnath Singh to visit trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir and submit a
report on the ground situation in the state.
BJP has flayed Abdullah's remark saying its aim was to promote national sovereignty and it did not need a certificate
from the leader who makes "arrogant" statements. Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "This is part of a campaign for
national sovereignty and solidarity."
Yadav, however, was of the view that peace is prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir after a long time and people in the
Valley have made a move forward for peace and development and hence nothing should be done which hampers this development.
"People in the Valley came forward to stop the cycle of violence for the sake of future of their children. At mass
level, people made initiatives to ensure the running of educational institutions in the state.
"The country should read a message into it. There is peace and we should make efforts to maintain this peace. It's
people of the Valley, who have normalised the situation and and we have to strengthen their resolve all the more. We
should not do any such thing from our side that hampers peace there," Yadav said.