Sri Sri to go on anti-corruption yatra in UP
New Delhi: Renowned spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will embark on an anti-corruption yatra in Uttar Pradesh next month.
Ravi Shankar would visit Jaunpur, Sultanpur, Mirzapur, Amethi, Sonebhadra, Chandauli and Kanpur from November 7 to November 10. Importantly, most of the districts to be covered by Sri Sri are known Congress strongholds.
The announcement comes at a crucial time as Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to go to polls early next year and political parties are considering the elections as the decider before the big fight – Lok Sabha polls in 2014.
Although stakes are high for regional parties like the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, they are even higher for the Congress as Rahul Gandhi has been devoting all his energies in revitalising the party in the state – he would also embark on a yatra from November 14.
Importantly, party’s outspoken general secretary Digvijay Singh had last week accused Sri Sri of being part of the BJP’s plan to tarnish the UPA government.
Singh had alleged that while Ramdev and Anna Hazare were "Plan A and B" of the RSS and BJP, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was "Plan C".
Ravishankar had rubbished the allegation and stressed that he will continue to fight against corruption. Last week, he administered an oath to nearly one lakh people, asking them not to give or take bribe.
The BJP had also slammed Digvijay Singh for attacking Sri Sri Ravishankar, saying he was suffering from "foot in mouth syndrome".
Although it would be the first time that the Bangalore-based guru would be personally starting a movement against corruption, he had lent support to the movements started by Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare.
Interestingly, Team Anna had last week conducted yatras in the state and has also threatened to intensify its agitation against the Congress if the Lokpal Bill is not passed in the Winter Session of the Parliament.
BJP’s veteran LK Advani’s anti-corruption ‘Jan Chetna’ yatra had also crossed through Uttar Pradesh, it is currently in Karnataka.
Other senior party leaders from the state like Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra have also announced their plans to start yatras ahead of the polls.
Not be left behind, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Akhilesh Yadav is also on a state-wide yatra to highlight what his party terms as the misrule of Mayawati.