The anti-corruption yatra of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani entered scam-hit Karnataka on Sunday as he flew into this tech hub from Kerala.
"Advani arrived here by a special aircraft from Kochi along with the party's national leaders M Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad and HN Ananth Kumar while his vehicle is on way to Mangalore from north Kerala," a party spokesman told IANS.
Though Advani will go to Mangalore Monday morning to resume his pan-Indian Jan Chetna Yatra through the coastal districts of the state over the next two days before crossing into Goa, the BJP's state unit took out rallies in various cities to drum-up support to the party's crusade against corruption and for good governance.
"All cabinet ministers of the state, including chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda, party's state unit office-bearers and national leaders will participate in the public rally-cum-meeting at the National College grounds in Bangalore late Sunday," the spokesman said.
"There are no differences either in the government or the ruling party over the war against corruption," he added.
With the BJP's first chief minister in south India, BS Yeddyurappa, and the ruling party's other tainted lawmakers Katta Subramanya Naidu, SN Krishnaiah Shetty and Y Sampangi in the central jail on the city's outskirts for their alleged involvement in graft cases and land scams, the party's leaders have resolved to expose the multi-crore scams of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) central government and in the Congress-ruled states.
Another former BJP minister, G Janardhan Reddy, is also cooling heels in the Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad since Sep 5 for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore mining scam in the state and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements were made for the public meeting in Bangalore to maintain law and order.
"We have deployed about 1,500 personnel, including senior officials, at the venue to supervise the security measures and ensure peaceful conduct of the public rally," Bangalore police commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji told reporters.
A dozen closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) have been installed across the sprawling grounds and vehicular traffic restricted to prevent grid lock.
In a related development, the opposition Congress took out a huge procession in the city and held a protest meeting against Advani's yatra with about 1,000 party cadres and supporters sporting black badges.
"The BJP and Advani have no moral right to go on a nationwide yatra against corruption when its state leaders and lawmakers are steeped in corruption and half-a-dozen of them are behind bars," state Congress president G Parameshwara said.