At a time when the top brass of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is taking part in the ongoing Ekta Yatra led by the party's youth wing chief Anurag Thakur to hoist the Tricolour in Srinagar on Republic Day, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convenor and key BJP ally Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) said the yatra might disturb peace in the Valley.
"There is peace in the Valley after a phase of stone-pelting. People have again begun to think about the future of their children and their education. At such a time, yatra is not advisable," Yadav told Hindustan Times.
Yadav also distanced himself from a key agenda of the yatra - the demand for abrogation of Article 370 that gives special status to Kashmir.
"This was outside the NDA's agenda of governance. Is par hum unse alag khade hain (On this we stand away from them)," he said. "However, it is their party affair and if they take up their party demand from their platform, what can we say about it?"
Meanwhile, reacting to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram to express concern over the BJP yatra, BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, "We don't need a no-objection certificate from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The state is an integral part of the country. In fact, it would be nice if the CM welcomes the Ekta Yatra. He is an elected representative."
Senior BJP leader LK Advani is slated to address the yatra as it arrives in Delhi.
The BJP has been maintaining that the yatra pertains to the right of every Indian to hoist the Tricolour anywhere in the country, which has led to adverse reactions from separatists as well as Omar Abdullah.
Former BJP president Rajnath Singh had recently written to President Pratibha Patil citing this "right", while senior leader Arun Jaitley has repeatedly referred to the Kashmir issue - citing the faults of Nehru and the weak policy of the Centre for the unending problem.
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has also appointed a study group to look into the issue.