BJP mum on expenditure of Advani`s yatra
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Last Updated: Wednesday, October 05, 2011, 22:33
New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday announced details of its senior leader L K Advani's 38-day yatra beginning on October 11 to create awareness about corruption but remained tight-lipped about the expenditure this massive programme would entail.

Advani's yatra for "clean politics and good governance", which will pass through 23 states and four Union territories, will be carried out on a Isuzu bus specially modified for the purpose. The senior leader and his entourage will also fly to several of these destinations.

Ironically, though this yatra is aimed at transparency in governance, the BJP is silent on the expenditure that this programme will require.

"This yatra will be carried out with the participation of the people and with austerity," BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar, who is the main convenor of the programme, said.

Asked if the party would put on its website details of the expenditure incurred during the yatra as was done by Anna Hazare for his agitation, Kumar evaded a reply.

"There cannot be a comprehensive budget for this yatra. Local units of the party will contribute," he said, when asked about how the party will manage its expenses.

The itinerary shows that Advani will skip two crucial destinations - Somnath in Gujarat and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh - though he is visiting the two states.

As per his plans, Advani has also decided not to lay too much emphasis on poll-bound states. He will spend a total of only 14 days in UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Gujarat. Though he will spend a day in the northeast, he is not visiting Manipur- where polls are due next year.

Asked why Advani is spending only five days of his yatra in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, Kumar said there will be two yatras -- one by former party president Rajnath Singh and another by senior leader Kalraj Mishra -- in the state simultaneously with his programme.

He insisted that Advani's yatra is not an election campaign.

BJP also maintained that Advani is skipping Somnath and Ayodhya as after the Allahabad High Court verdict the party has won the battle on the Ayodhya temple issue.

Advani's Jan Chetna Yatra will be flagged off by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Jayprakash Narayan's birth anniversary October 11. The party has been forced to make some minor changes. Instead of JP's birth place Sitabdiara, the yatra is likely to start from Chhapra as the area is water- logged due to floods.

Advani's sixth rath-yatra will cover around 7,600 km and go to nearly 100 districts across the country.

Among the places he is visiting are Nagpur, where RSS headquarters are located, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Lilabari and Guwahati in Assam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu, parts of states like Orissa, Kerala, Karnataka, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Setting at rest speculation whether he will visit Gujarat too as Chief Minister Narendra Modi is said to be unhappy with his yatra, Advani will spend two days there.

Asked if Modi will receive Advani when the yatra enters Gujarat, Kumar said, "All BJP chief ministers will receive the yatra when it enters their respective states and will accompany it as long as it is in their state."

To keep talks of leadership tussles at bay, BJP has asked all chief ministers and leaders not to get their posters displayed during the yatra.


First Published: Wednesday, October 05, 2011, 22:33

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