Flag hoisting row: Gadkari calls government repressive


Beijing: BJP president Nitin Gadkari, now on a visit to China, Monday criticised the “repressive approach of the central and state governments” towards a march being taken out to unfurl the national flag at Srinagar on Republic Day.

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Gadkari congratulated the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), activists for a peaceful yet effective demonstration of the nationalist spirit and condemned the “repressive approach of the central and state government”.

Gadkari had flagged off the march from Kolkata on Jan 12. BJYM, led by its president Anurag Thakur, plans to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk Jan 26, for which it is taking out a Rashtriya Ekta yatra (national unity march).

Gadkari, the first BJP president to visit China, called up Thakur and enquired about the obstacles being raised in the march to Srinagar by the central government and Jammu and Kashmir state government.

Gadkari said: “Under the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) regime, secessionists are enjoying royal treatment while nationalist and integrationists are being assailed simply because they have plans to unfurl the national flag at the Lal Chowk in Srinagar.”

“Secessionist elements in the valley will be the happiest lot Jan 26 while those who want to hoist flag in their own motherland will be put behind the bars.

“Now that the government has sent out a horrifyingly wrong signal to the secessionists by refusing the yatra (march) to move ahead, BJP is afraid that this will further boost the anti-nationalist’s morale. The government has always played to the gallery on this issue and if this trend continues; terrorism may raise its ugly head once again,” he said.

On Sunday, Gadkari was in Shanghai where Ding Xuexiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, told him that the Indian community in Shanghai was very enterprising and making a positive contribution to the rapid growth of the city.

“We welcome IT professionals from India because they are very good,” Xuexiang said during a meeting with the BJP president and his party delegation.

There are a large number of Indian professionals working in different fields in Shanghai and other parts of China.

Speaking at a reception hosted in his honour by the NRI community in Shanghai, Gadkari said young Indian professionals were doing a wonderful job abroad and the country was proud of them. He asked them to maintain links with India and help in which ever manner they can for the progress and development of India.

Gadkari is accompanied by party general secretaries, Thawarchand Gehlot and Vijay Goel, joint organising secretary Saudan Singh, secretaries Arti Mehra and Laxman Kova and political associate Vinay Sasrabuddhe.

The delegation is visiting Guangzhou before returning home.