The government has turned down the request of legislators who wanted to hoist the tricolour in their assembly constituencies.
According to sources, the government rejected the submission of a number of MLAs who had sought permission for hoisting the flag in their respective constituencies and made it clear to them that it would set a new precedence and create conflict with the already established mechanism in place.
The government had decided not to pay heed to the legislators considering the ministers, who are the chairmen of the District Development Boards (DDBs), would hoist flags in different district headquarters of the State, sources said.
They said the government also stressed that besides the official functions at the district headquarters, Sub District Magistrates (SDMs) and tehsildars would hoist tricolor at sub-divisions and tehsils.
The government also kept security reasons in mind for denying the permission for hoisting tricolor to the MLAs.
Sources said most of the rightwing Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) MLAs had sought permission from the government for hoisting the tricolor as had a few MLAs from the Valley and the cold desert region of Ladakh.
As per the established mechanism, Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed who is the Chairman of the District Development Board (DDB) Srinagar is set to hoist the tricolor at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar.
Sources said Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who is the lone cabinet minister to head to boards of Jammu and Samba, would only unfurl the tricolor in Jammu while Minister of State for Education, Priya Sethi would hoist the tricolor in Samba on Singh’s behalf.
The flag hoisting in Kashmir has always been controversial since 1992 when the then BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi along with Narendra Modi (now Prime Minister) traveled to Kashmir to hoist the tricolour on January 26 as part of BJP’s agenda of asserting that Kashmir was integral part of India.
With Kashmiris locked inside their homes, Joshi hoisted the flag in the company of troops.
He had to be whisked away in haste when a rocket fired by militants landed some meters away from the Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) in the heart of Lal Chowk.
As per the established norms, two ministers from Jammu region, Sukhnandan Kumar and Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali would hoist the tricolor in Kashmir.
Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sukhnandan Kumar would hoist the tricolor in Baramulla while Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution and Tribal Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali would hoist the tricolor in Kupwara.
Similarly, three ministers from Kashmir region would hoist the tricolor in Jammu region.
Minister for Education, Naeem Akhter would hoist the tricolor in Rajouri, Minister for Public Works, Floriculture and Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari would hoist the tricolor in Poonch and Minister for Science and Technology and Animal Husbandry Sajjad Gani Lone would hoist tricolors in Doda.
Minister for Forests and Social Welfare, Bali Bhagat would hoist the flag in Kishtwar while Minister for Finance, Labour and Employment and Culture Haseeb Drabu would hoist the flag in Budgam.
Minister for Revenue, Javaid Mustafa Mir would hoist the tri colour in Kulgam, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Abdul Haq Khan in Anantnag, Minister for Horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf, Abdul Rehman Veeri in Pulwama, Minister for Transport, Abdul Gani Kohli in Shopian and Youth Services, Sports and IT Minister, Imran Raza Ansari in Bandipora.
Agriculture Minister Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura would unfurl the flag in Ganderbal, Minister for Health and Medical Education Lal Singh in Udhampur, Industries and Commerce Minister Chander Prakash Ganga in Kathua, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Syed Basharat Bukhari in Ramban and Minister for Cooperatives, Chering Dorjey in Reasi. Last year BJP’s state unit had hoisted the tricolour at its Kashmir office upside down.