Jaitley, Sushma head for J&K to take charge of flag yatra

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Undeterred by Jammu andKashmir government''s actions to stop the flag yatra, BJP todaydispatched its top leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj tothe state to "take command" of the party programme to hoistthe tricolour in Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day.

"Leaders of Opposition of both Houses and senior partyfunctionary Ananth Kumar today left for J&K to take command ofthe flag hoisting programme," party sources said here.

The move comes a day after several workers of BJP''syouth wing (BJYM) were prevented from entering J&K. Theopposition party has accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh andthe Omar Abdullah government of "surrendering" to separatistsand showing "disproportionate and panic reaction".

The Prime Minister recently asked parties to desistfrom scoring political points or promoting divisive agendasand exercise maximum restraint to ensure that peace is notdisturbed in a "sensitive" state like J and K, a remarkcriticised by the BJP.

Advani said in his blog yesterday that that the partywas "not trying to score a political point" but waschallenging the separatists who had vowed to obstruct its planto hoist the tricolour at Lal Chowk.

Police took BJP state unit''s vice president SofiMohammad Yousuf into preventive custody. The state governmenthas decided to deploy around 100 additional companies ofpolice and paramilitary forces to scuttle any attempts by theBJP to march towards Srinagar.

The BJP''s contention is that separatists had hoistedthe Pakistani flag on Eid at Lal Chowk last year in full mediaglare and wondered why Indian flag cannot be hoisted at thehistoric place on January 26.

"How can the Prime Minister think that hoisting a flagwill divide the nation," Leader of Opposition in Rajya SabhaArun Jaitley had said.

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