Amid protests and arrests, BJP calls for Jammu bandh tomorrow
Senior BJP leader H N Ananth Kumar on Monday said the party has called for a Jammu bandh on Tuesday to protest the detention and arrests of party activists proceeding to Lal Chowk in Srinagar to hoist the national tricolour on January 26.
Speaking to PTI over the phone from Jammu airport, where he along with other senior leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj were on a dharna after being stopped, Kumar said the party had called for a Jammu bandh in protest against this "illegal move, taken at the behest of the Manmohan Singh led UPA government".
"The union government and the Jammu and Kashmir government are indulging in excesses like diverting train carrying the BJP activists, making preventive arrests, physically stopping the Rashtriya Ekta Yatra, which is reminiscent of the dark days of emergency," he said.
He said the the trio were determined in their resolve to hoist the national tricolour at Lal Chowk and "it is up to them (Jammu and Kashmir government) to take action". "Our march to Lal Chowk is peaceful and will be peaceful and our intention is only to convey to the country that the national tricolour should be and can be hoisted everywhere especially on August 15 and January 26", Kumar said.
He termed as "unfortunate" that both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah "instead of protecting the tricolour and facilitating its hoisting were terming it as a provocative act".
Kumar said hoisting the tricolour was a matter of great pride and it was the duty of the elected governments to facilitate the same. He called upon the Union government and the Jammu and Kashmir government not to be cowed down by the threats of separatists regarding unfurling of the national flag but ensure that it is hoisted in Jammu and Kashmir "which is an integral part of India".
Kumar said the party leaders would sit in dharna throughout the country in protest against the "attitude of the Centre and the state government".