Kasargod (Ker): BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Sunday demanded convening of a meeting of Chief Ministers of Southern states immediately to discuss safety of pilgrims visiting the hill shrine at Sabarimala in Kerala.
Inaugurating the `Kerala Raksha Padhayatra`, led by State BJP President V Muraleedharan at nearby Uppala, Gadkari blamed successive governments for not paying adequate attention to the safety of Ayyappa devotees visiting the holy shrine.
Hundred and two persons were killed and 50 injured in a stampede at Pullumedu near Sabarimala hill shrine on Friday last.
Gadkari alleged that both the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and opposition United Democratic Front had betrayed the people on various issues over the years by giving false promises.
He expressed confidence over BJP winning a seat in the coming assembly elections, which would witness many senior party leaders in the fray.
He also criticised the hike in petrol prices, saying it would adversely affect the common man, already facing the strain of increase in prices of essential items.
The yatra, meant to expose `anti-people` policies of successive state governments, will traverse through the 140 assembly constituencies in Kerala before culminating at Thiruvananthapuram on February 26.
Among those present were Karnataka Home Minister V S Acharya, former union minister O Rajagopal, BJP State General Secretaries A N Radhakrishnan and K Surendran.