Under party's 'secretariat gherao' call on the opening day of civil secretariat here, top BJP leaders courted arrest to highlight the alleged discriminatory attitude of the government with the Jammu and Ladakh regions.
Prominenet among those who were detained included state BJP president Jugal Kishore Sharma, BJP legislature party leader Ashok Khajuria, national executive members Nirmal Singh, Shamsher Singh Manhas, MLAs Sham Choudhary and Sukhnandan Choudhary and state vice-president Chander Prakash Ganga.
Earlier, the BJP leaders started a protest march towards the secretariat from Indira Chowk and they were confronted by a heavy police force on the way. The protesters, however, outnumbered the cops and crossed all barricades and reached Shalimar chowk, where a rally was staged.
Jugal Kishore criticised the NC-Congress coalition government for discriminating against Jammu and Ladakh regions in matters related to development and extension of welfare schemes. He said that Jammu too suffered at the hands of Kashmiri leaders, as the elected representatives of NC and Congress from Jammu region don't assert for their share.
He said that the CM was raking up the issue of J&K's accession to India, something put to rest by his own grandfather. Ashok Khajuria said that J&K was an integral part of India, and some elements rake up the issue of accession or state's merger with India to divert the attention of the masses from real issues.
He said that the provision of a separate state flag in addition to the national Tricolour too induced a sense of separatism and sooner the provision goes, the better it would be for the state.
Manhas said that despite massive funding from the Centre for development of all the three regions, major portion of the relief is diverted to the Valley. Not only this, even the funds exclusively meant for Jammu too are diverted to Kashmir and the Congress was responsible for such acts.