Senior BJP leader LK Advani resumed the second phase of his anti-corruption campaign on Thursday after a two-day Diwali break. As he left for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, he said people’s response for his 'Jan Chetna Yatra' was far greater than for his Ram Rath Yatra of the 1990s, which helped the party to catapult to power.
Advani also gave a disclaimer. He noted in his blog that “several journalists have pointedly asked me: Is this yatra aimed at repackaging LK Advani? My answer is: Frankly, I do not quite understand why I would like to repackage myself. I would wish to stress with all the emphasis at my command that this yatra has nothing to do with LK Advani. Nor even with the BJP or the next elections. It is concerned essentially with India.”
Advani’s disclaimer was seen by BJP leaders as a move to soften the RSS in the context of reports that the BJP’s parental body was not too happy that his yatra had brought back focus to the leadership tussle in the party.
In his blog, Advani said he traveled through Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha (Maharashtra), Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Andaman and Nicobar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in his first phase, involving 14 days.
Advani attributed the people’s response to his yatra this time to their self-esteem being undermined “because of the happenings of numerous scams, several central ministers being removed and even jailed...”