New Delhi: A formal announcement of the details of senior BJP leader L K Advani's rathyatra may take another couple of days, the Congress on Monday sought to puncture as "gimmickry" Advani's plans to take up yet another Yatra asking the BJP what anti-graft measures it had initiated when in power. (Agencies)
Prior to formal announcement of the details of senior BJP leader L K Advani's rathyatra, the party is working security and other arrangements but the campaign is likely to begin only after Dussehra, sources said.
Though some final glitches still remain to be sorted out, highly placed sources said a consensus appears to be building towards starting the rathyatra on October 11 which marks the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narain, who led the anti-Emergency movement.
The choice of starting point of the rathyatra also seems to be narrowing down to Karamsad village in Gujarat's Anand district which is the birthplace of Sardar Patel. Sources said an announcement about the date and starting point of the yatra is likely on Thursday.
Since Advani has often compared the present political situation and the "arrogance" of the Congress-led government to the atmosphere prevailing prior to the Emergency and the attitude of the Indira Gandhi regime, October 11 would be a good date to begin the rathyatra, according to party leaders.
The former Home Minister has often been described by his followers as the second Sardar Patel and hence starting the yatra from Karamsad would send across a message. September 25 (the date on which Advani started his Ram Rathyatra in 1987) and October 2 (Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary) were being discussed as prospective dates for starting the rathyatra but may be given up as two breaks would have to be taken due to Dussehra and Diwali.
Party office bearers have been given the responsibility of handling the yatra arrangements at the local level. States to be covered are likely to be Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh among others.
The yatra is likely to culminate in Delhi around November 20, just before the Winter session of Parliament begins. This would help BJP ride on the yatra wave during the session and build pressure on the Congress-led government on the issue of corruption, sources said. The Winter session of Parliament is likely to begin on November 21.
Congress terms LK yatra as 'gimmick'
Meanwhile, the Congress sought to puncture as "gimmickry" L K Advani's plans to take up yet another Rath Yatra.
Taking a dig at the BJP for claiming high moral ground, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi wondered how could such Yatra be possible "with B S Yeddyurappa as charioter, Nishank Pokhriyal as foot soldier, Bangaru Laxman and Dilip Singh Judeo as poster boys and Anant Kumar as Convenor".
In a sarcastic tone, Singhvi told reporters that the country was waiting with bated breath for Advani to see how his Rath yatra will reduce corruption.
"Since Rath Yatra cannot reduce corruption, the reasons behind it are different. They are ulterior....We hope Advani in his burning desire to change his position of a permanent Prime Minister-in-waiting will not ignore larger national interests", Singhvi said.
Reminding that the Advani's Somnath-Ayodhya Rath Yatra two decades back had spurred violence in the country, he said that the Congress would request BJP to eliminate corruption from politics and not to play politics on corruption.
Terming Advani's Yatra as "gimmickry, grandstanding, sensationalism, he asked BJP to come clean on the issue of corruption. Singhvi wanted the opposition party to tell what steps had been taken on the issue of Lokpal, black money and corruption when Advani was Deputy Prime Minister.
To a question whether Congress is apprehensive of the political fallout of the Yatra, Singhvi shot back "more such gimmickry is resorted, the more BJP will expose itself."
Singhvi mocked at Advani's remarks that there were several Prime Ministerial candidates in the BJP. "I fully endorse his remarks. This is BJP's main problem which the party or Advani have not been able to solve for the last 10-12 years."
The Congress spokesman said the reports that the controversial former Karnataka Minister G Janardhan Reddy had footed the hotel bill of a 'friend' of BJP chief Nitin Gadkari "were not even the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg".
"We are interested in the iceberg. Wait. This is not even interval. It is a long movie. This is an unfolding evolving story," he said.
New Delhi: A formal announcement of the details of senior BJP leader L K Advani's rathyatra may take another couple of days, the Congress on Monday sought to puncture as "gimmickry" Advani's plans to take up yet another Yatra asking the BJP what anti-graft measures it had initiated when in power.