The Bharatiya Janata Party will go ahead with its plans to hoist the Indian tricolour at the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day despite Chief Minister Omar Abdullah having cautioned the party against it, a party official said on Thursday.
Reacting to the chief minister's assertions Wednesday that hoisting the Indian national flag at Lal Chowk on Jan 26 would serve as a provocation to the people of Kashmir, the BJP leaders here have said that "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, and they would go ahead with the plan".
"We will go ahead with the plan to hoist the national tricolour in Srinagar," national executive committee member and former state unit president of the party, Nirmal Singh told newsmen Thursday in reaction to the chief minister's warning.
"What the chief minister said amounts to instigating the people in the Kashmir Valley to react," Singh said while referring to Abdullah's charge that "BJP wanted to set Kashmir on fire".
The chief minister had also questioned the wisdom of flag hoisting by the BJP when the state ministers, officers and security establishments would be unfurling the national flag across the state on Republic Day.
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has already warned against hoisting of the national tricolour in Lal Chowk. "We will see who will hoist the flag at Lal Chowk on Jan 26," he had stated at a seminar in Srinagar on Tuesday.
The BJP, on the other hand, has maintained the flag hoisting was part of its nationwide campaign for unity and solidarity.