BJP mum on expenditure of Advani`s yatra

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 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.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 22:33

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