BJP ignores'bribe' row; counts'gains'
Bhopal: BJP patriarch L K Advani's
nationwide anti-graft Jana Chetna Yatra had its own share of
controversies when it passed through the party-ruled Madhya
Pradesh last week, but that did not deter the party from
claiming success of the campaign.
Opposition Congress raked up the issue of corruption
in the state to embarrass the BJP, which is in power in Madhya
Pradesh since December 2003.
Before the yatra entered the state, journalists at
Satna alleged they were paid money by the local BJP unit to
cover the high-profile event, being used by the saffron outfit
to highlight the issues of corruption and black money.
The incident forced the BJP to remove its media in-
charge of Satna district, Shyam Gupta. The party was also
quick to claim it has politically gained from the yatra.
State BJP Spokesman Vijesh Lunawat told PTI, "the
party has politically gained a lot in Madhya Pradesh."
Advani's yatra evoked good response in the areas which
are not BJP strongholds, like the Vindhya region, he stated.
The rath covered those Lok Sabha constituencies which
the party lost in the 2009 general elections like Rewa,
Mandla, Shahdol, Hoshangabad and Chhindwara, Lunawat said.
It covered a total of nine Lok Sabha, and 34 Assembly
seats, traversing a distance of 1100-km in five days, he said.
It provided an opportunity to State organisation
General Secretary Arvind Menon, Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh
Chouhan and State BJP President Prabhat Jha to extensively
tour these areas as part of preparation for the yatra and
interact with the party workers.
Asked about the Satna incident, Lunawat said the
presence of a large number of people in the nine meetings that
Advani addressed is a proof it had no impact on the yatra.