Anurag Thakur, chief of the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has vowed to go ahead with the Rashtriya Ekta Yatra and hoist the tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day, despite strong objections from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Omar had told newsmen on Wednesday that the BJP should not go ahead with the planned yatra and try to unfurl the tricolour in Srinagar, as it may disrupt the fragile peace in the state after months of violent protests.
"Is hoisting a tiranga at Lal Chowk a crime? Kashmir is an integral part of India and no one should stop us from going there," Thakur told journalists at a press conference on Thursday.
"The purpose of the BJYM's Ekta Yatra is patriotic and nationalist and the only purpose of the yatra is to strengthen the unity of India. It should not be viewed from a political angle," he said.
The yatra will begin from Shyam Bazaar in Kolkota and pass through various states including Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana,Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, before entering Jammu.
"We expect large crowds as we proceed. On January 20, when we drive into Delhi, you will know the strength of our yatra. People are enthusiastic about it," Thakur told rediff.com.