Sushma angry over 'farce' of inviting BJP leaders to Srinagar | india | Hindustan Times
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Sushma angry over 'farce' of inviting BJP leaders to Srinagar

india Updated: Jan 26, 2011 17:03 IST
Sushma Swaraj

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday attacked the Jammu and Kashmir government for arresting Leaders of Opposition from both Houses of Parliament while making a "farce" of inviting them to the official Republic Day parade in Srinagar.

"This is an extra-ordinary situation. India completes 61 years of being a Republic. This is the first Republic Day after Emergency when Leaders of Opposition of both Houses of Parliament were kept under arrest. And our fault was that we were entering Jammu and Kashmir and for this crime we were arrested," she said.

Swaraj, along with senior party leaders Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar among others, was talking to reporters after being released by the J & K government in the afternoon.

"My first question to the government is what kind of a Republic is this," Swaraj asked.

She referred to the telephonic conversation between Jaitley and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who had invited the two leaders to attend the Republic Day parade in Srinagar.

"Yesterday night, we also got a farcical invitation when Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister invited us to take part in the official function in Srinagar. Was he not aware that we were under arrest," she said.

Swaraj said she and other BJP leaders were released only at 12:40 pm while the official parade started at 10 am.

"Our invitation is that you (Abdullah) join us and unfurl the national flag at Lal Chowk," she said.

She maintained that it was not an ordinary event and likened it to the Emergency days when the entire opposition was in jail.

"We were not allowed to land in Jammu. Then we were told to go back. When we did not relent, they kept us out of the state," Swaraj said.