Ekta Yatra: BJP may initiate action against J-K Govt

New Delhi: Miffed at the "illegal detention" of its senior leaders during the Ekta Yatra, BJP on Thursday said it is mulling initiating legal action against the Jammu and Kashmir government on the issue.

"Section 144 Cr PC was used to extern three leaders.

They were kept in illegal confinement at the Jammu airport for six hours. Then they were physically abducted and taken outside Jammu and Kashmir. We are mulling over taking legal action against the state," a senior BJP leader said.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitely were arrested by the state government when they tried to enter the state on Tuesday to proceed to Srinagar to hoist the national falg at Lal Chowk.

The principal opposition also questioned how prohibitory order could used to confine a person for carrying the national flag on Republic Day.

"The senior BJP leaders were in Jammu. Had they reached Srinagar, may be prohibitory orders could be taken against them. Why was Jammu declared a prohibitory zone?" the senior leader asked.

The party has also taken note of the fact that JKLF leader Yasin Malik and his supporters were allowed to reach Lal Chowk in Srinagar before their arrest while this was not done in the case of BJP leaders.

"This is nothing but psychological surrender to the separatists by the Jammu and Kashmir government and the Centre," a senior BJP leader alleged.

The "hijack" of a train carrying BJP supporters from Maharashtra – which was stopped at Ahmednagar and sent back- has also angered the party, which had chartered the train for Rs 64 Lakh.

However, the party is upbeat about the Ekta Yatra as it seems to have gained politically from the event.

"It is a big gain for us as it starts a fresh debate about our ideological agenda," a senior leader said, adding that this would benefit the party.

Another gain is that this Yatra has brought a new resurgence and enthusiasm in the party, senior leaders claimed.

The principal opposition feels the manner in which the Yatra culminated has generated more acceptability of the party and its stand on the issue.

Had the state government arrested most of the leaders at Jammu and allowed some youth wing leaders to go to Srinagar and hoist the national tricolour at the BJP state headquarters there, the political gains would not have been much, feel party leaders.

BJP leaders confessed that they did not expect the Omar Abdullah government to allow any BJP leader to unfurl the flag at Lal Chowk.

BJP leaders also conceded that the Yatra had helped the party in sending across a message to its electoral constituency in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the rest of the country.