The BJP on Tuesday decided to put off indefinitely a string of rallies planned across the country, a day after National Security Advisor MK Narayanan met Leader of Opposition LK Advani and advised him against exposing himself during his proposed Sankalp Yatra in view of a heightened threat from terrorists.
The BJP leadership, which went into a huddle at a core committee meeting at Advani’s residence, felt it was too late to call off the inaugural rally of the yatra in Jabalpur on Wednesday. So they decided to go ahead with it. But the second big public rally, scheduled on Sunday in Rampur, where terrorists attacked a CRPF camp recently, was postponed and so were several others.
The core committee meeting did debate the issue of a possible setback to the party’s image due to the rollback in its yatra plans. But felt that Narayanan’s advice cannot be ignored.
Narayanan, who also met senior leader Jaswant Singh on Monday, is believed to have advised Advani to limit public appearances to the minimum during the next 30 days as specific intelligence inputs suggest there was a grave threat to his life.
Home ministry spokesman Onkar Kedia told HT that review of security of protected persons was a continuous process. On the basis of the inputs, appropriate security arrangements are made. “Protectees are also advised to take due precaution during their programmes,” he said.
A BJP leader, who did not want to be named, said although embarrassing, the move to put off the rallies was unavoidable. Going ahead with the rallies would have meant endangering the party leaders as well as several others, he added.