New Delhi: Holding that the Centre is "duty-bound" to unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Sunday said central rule should be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir if the state government fails to cooperate in hoisting the national flag there.
"The UPA government is duty bound under the Transaction of Business Rules framed under the Constitution to officially unfurl the tricolour national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, J&K," he said in a statement here.
He said a resolution to this effect was adopted by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs in January first week or thereabouts in 1991 when Chandrashekhar was Prime Minister and he was Union Minister for Law and Justice and Commerce.
"As a senior minister and member of CCPA, I had raised the issue in the CCPA because the V P Singh government had considered the matter and decided to discontinue the practice
of unfurling the flag in Lal Chowk in 1990 as it might hurt the feelings of the people of the state.
"After hearing the service chiefs, the intelligence chiefs, and the cabinet secretary, Chandrashekhar had agreed with me and directed that it be resolved that the government
unfurl the flag and the Army defend it if there was any problem," Swamy said.
He said that then chief minister Farooq Abdullah "later concurred and cooperated in ensuring a peaceful unfurling of the tricolour national flag on January 26, 1991."
Maintaining that Lal Chowk is a historic place and not some "bazaar area" "as the present chief minister blandly and ignorantly states", he said, "I demand, therefore, that on January 26th the flag be unfurled, and if the state government does not cooperate in the unfurling, then central rule be declared in the state, and the Army be handed the administration of the state".
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday stepped into the controversy over BJP`s plan to hoist national flag in Srinagar on Republic Day saying the `solemn occasion` should
not be used to score `political points` and appealed for maximum restraint in `sensitive` Jammu and Kashmir.
Omar Abdullah Government has opposed the flag hoisting on the grounds that it will vitiate the atmosphere in the state.
The BJP reacted with shock and disappointment to the Prime Minister`s disapproval of the plan accusing him of letting down the nation and said he will be emboldening