In a goodwill gesture, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday night spoke to BJP leader Arun Jaitely and invited party members, who were arrested for trying to enter the state, to attend the Republic Day function either in Jammu or in Srinagar today. However, the party has rejected Omar Abdullah's offer terming it a lip service.
"It is a lip service by him (Omar). We do not give credence to it and turn it down," BJYM national president
Anurag Thakur told reporters in Kathua district, around 70 kms from here.
"Omar first arrested leaders of the nationalist party and then did not allow the hoisting of national flag at Lal
Chowk in Srinagar as if it is not a part of the country. Then he invites us as a state guest for the tricolour hoisting on the Republic Day in the state," Thakur said.
Omar made the offer after the BJP delegation led by Jaitely and Sushma Swaraj was stopped at Lakhanpur in J-K on Tuesday. They were proceeding towards Srinagar to hoist the tricolour at the historic Lal Chowk. He said that he had extended an invitation to the BJP delegation for being the guest at the Republic Day function at any of the two cities.
"The state government will facilitate their participation at either of the venues," he said.
The Chief Minister said that he had also ordered the release of all BJP workers who had courted arrest as well as the BJP MLAs detained during the day. Earlier this evening, Omar chaired a high-level meeting during which preparations for Wednesday's celebrations were reviewed.
Omar appealed to the people to defeat the separatists' plan to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations.