The first of the 22 nationwide rallies of the NDA against the ruling UPA over corruption and price rise lacked spark and bite of heavyweights on Saturday.
However, Rajnath Singh, former president of the BJP, held fort during the Mahasangram Rally at Phoolbagh ground here and said the National Democratic Alliance would not let Parliament function till black money in foreign accounts came back to the government exchequer.
His warning indicated the NDA would disrupt the coming Budget session the same way it had paralysed the Winter session. Not even one-fifth of the ground, that can comfortably hold 25,000 people, was filled. The rally started at 2pm, three hours behind schedule and instead of the NDA rally, it looked like a Bharatiya Janata Party workers’ meet and focus eventually turned to Uttar Pradesh polls in 2012.
BJP seniors LK Advani, Murli Mahohar Joshi and JD-U chief Sharad Yadav could not reach the rally venue after their flights to Kanpur were diverted to Lucknow due to poor visibility. BJP president Nitin Gadkari’s visit had been cancelled earlier.
In Lucknow, Advani said the current stand-off in Parliament over the alleged 2G spectrum allocation scam would end if the Congress agreed to its demand for a JPC probe. He said much depended on the government’s response at the all-party meeting on February 8.