Srinagar: The Kashmir unit of BJP took out a ‘Tiranga’ rally here to celebrate Accession Day on Monday, with the party saying the participation of people in it was a “tight slap” on those making seditious statements in the valley.
The J&K government observed a public holiday on account of Accession Day, that marks the anniversary of signing of the Instrument of Accession by the then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, with Union of India on October 26, 1947.
Scores of BJP leaders and workers assembled at the Tagore Hall here where a function was organised to celebrate the occasion. It commenced with garlanding the pictures of Maharaja Hari Singh, Bharat Mata and Maqbool Sherwani, who delayed the invasion of Pakistan-backed tribesmen in Baramulla, a party spokesperson said.
He said it was followed by a ‘Tiranga’ rally, led by BJP general secretary and in-charge for Kashmir Vibodh Gupta, which began at the Tagore Hall and concluded at SKICC on the banks of the Dal Lake.
Dozens of vehicles, with the tricolor hoisted on each of them, were part of the rally which passed through Gupkar Road and the activists raised slogans outside the residences of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti there.
Speaking on the occasion, Gupta said the “overwhelming response” from the local people of Kashmir and “massive participation” in the Tiranga rally was “a tight slap on those so-called leaders of Kashmir who made seditious statements in the last few days”.
This massive rally stands as a testimony to the fact that Gupkar Declaration leaders are living in fool’s paradise, he said, referring to the Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration the unified group of several mainstream parties including NC and PDP.
Mehbooba Mufti, in her first interaction with the media after her release from detention, had said she will not hoist the tricolor till the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was restored.
The BJP leader said it was on this day in 1947 when the then ruler of JK, Maharaja Hari Singh, signed the Instrument of Accession of J-K with the Union of India, and this day was an important landmark in the history.
Gupta said Maharaja Singh’s dream of JK was being envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the mission of peace, prosperity and development in the valley was at its peak.
He called upon the youth of JK to resolve on this historic day not to fall in the “trap of separatists” and power-hungry political parties including PDP and NC and commit themselves towards the cause of peace and prosperity.
Requesting India’s help to push back tribal invaders, Maharaja Hari Singh on October 26, 1947, signed the Instrument of Accession which was duly accepted and signed a day later by Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor General of India.
In a faux pas during Monday’s rally, the Kashmir unit of BJP hoisted the national flag on a vehicle upside down.
With the green at the top and saffron at the bottom, the inverted national flag was attached to the bonnet of a black SUV in which BJP’s Altaf Thakur was travelling during the Tiranga rally from Tagore Hall to SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake.
The mistake was widely circulated via videos on social media here.
While the anniversary of signing of the Instrument of Accession had remained insignificant in Jammu and Kashmir in the initial years after independence, the BJP and the National Panther’s Party started celebrating the occasion as Accession Day over the past two decades.
After the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories in August last year, the administration officially notified October 26 as a public holiday.
All the offices, schools and educational institutions in the Union territory remained closed on account of the holiday. PTI