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Former CM Omar Abdullah says tricolour & state flag will fly in J&K as long as it is part of India

Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday said his successor and PDP chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should step down if he cannot defend the state’s dignity and flag from the “nefarious” plans of BJP. “If Mufti Syed (Sayeed) can’t defend the state’s dignity & flag from the nefarious plans of his allies he should step down and find someone who can!” Omar wrote on Twitter. Omar’s comments came soon after a division bench of the JK High Court stayed implementing the order of a single bench which had called on Constitutional authorities in the state to hoist the state flag on official buildings and vehicles.

Omar Abdullah

The National Conference leader’s comments sparked a debate on the social networking site with some questioning his patriotism. Former Inspector General of Police and BJP leader Farooq Khan had filed an LPA before the High Court against the order of Justice Hasnain Masoodi passed on December 27. The High Court constituted a special Division Bench comprising Justices B L Bhat and Tashi Rabstan, who stayed the single bench order after hearing Khan’s counsel Sunil Sethi.

If Mufti Syed can’t defend the state’s dignity & flag from the nefarious plans of his allies he should step down & find someone who can!!!

— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) January 1, 2016
Why is only J&K expected to respect the terms of accession while the rest of the country can disregard them with impunity? #twoflagswillfly

— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) January 1, 2016
Having a state flag accepted & recognised by the Constitutions of India & J&K is NOT Azadi. Jeez!!!! https://t.co/CaesuMfPRn

— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) January 1, 2016
Omar asked why Jammu and Kashmir was expected to respect the terms of accession while the rest of the country could disregard it. “Why is only J&K expected to respect the terms of accession while the rest of the country can disregard them with impunity?” he asked. Responding to the online criticism, Omar asserted that two flags will fly in the state as long as it continued to be part of India. “Here’s what I’ll say — so long as J&K is a part of India the two flags will continue to fly & we’ll take pride in it. “Having a state flag accepted & recognised by the Constitutions of India & J&K is NOT Azadi. Jeez!” he wrote.

Omar dismissed a news channel’s tirade saying he had “never craved” for any certificate of patriotism “from the likes of him anyway(.) So no big deal. “I’d rather a tirade based on facts than a campaign based on wilful ignorance & propaganda,” he added.