Under BJP Pressure, Mufti To Contest R-day Plea

14 March 2015
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: Under pressure from its ally, the BJP, Mufti Sayeed Government in Jammu and Kashmir would contest a petition in the High Court filed by the state's former Chief Conservator of Forests(CCF), Abdul Qayoom Khan, seeking the court's direction to the government for celebration of J&K Republic Day on November 17 and hoisting of state flag atop the government buildings and vehicles of the Constitutional authorities. 'The High Court gave a last chance to the state government to file its reply on the petition before it comes up for hearing, which could happen anytime now,' an official spokesperson said. He said in order to avoid any adverse order in a sensitive Constitutional matter, the government intended to file an affidavit in the court, contesting all the pleas made by the petitioner. In another move, the government also withdrew its controversial circular making it mandatory for the Constitutional authorities to display the state flag, along with the Union flag, on their official cars and atop the offices and buildings. The official order, which was issued on March 12, was withdrawn within 24 hours after the BJP opposed the order and asked the PDP to avoid such decisions. The government claimed that the draft of the circular was not approved by the Competent Authority and that appropriate action would be taken after an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the issuance of such an order. Meanwhile, J&K Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh told reporters in Jammu that the state flag issue was a big conspiracy hatched against the PDP-BJP Government, which assumed office on March 1. He said there were some people in the administration, who were not discharging their duties. 'We will see what corrective measures could be taken in the future,' the Deputy Chief Minister said. Reacting to the withdrawal of the official order on display of state flag, former J&K Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said, 'Mufti can't protect the sanctity of the most visible sign of J&K's special status. So, let's not expect anything on Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) and Article 370.'