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Advani takes break for Kerala polls

LK Advani today dropped out of the Bharat Suraksha Yatra at the poppy belt of Mandsaur to canvass for votes in God's own country-Kerala.

india Updated: Apr 30, 2006 15:14 IST
Saeed Khan

LK Advani today dropped out of the Bharat Suraksha Yatra at the poppy belt of Mandsaur to canvass for votes in God's own country-Kerala.

The Yatra will resume from Neemuch on May 1 making its way to the adjoining BJP ruled state of Rajasthan the same day. After an overnight stay Advani, accompanied by BJP apparatchiks Ananth Kumar, Kirit Somayya and Sudhendra Kulkarni, left early in the morning for Indore where they boarded a chopper for Mumbai.

Members of Advani's immediate family including wife, son and daughter-in-law left the Yatra entourage at Ujjainyesterday after accompanying him on a visit to the Mahakaal temple. Organisers said the decision to hive off the Yatra's Malwa leg into two parts was taken to avoid a clash with Akha Teej (Akshaya Tritiya).

"Advaniji was originally supposed to leave for Kerala on April 27 and return on 29 to resume the Yatra", informed BJP media cell incharge Deepak Vijayvargiya. However, as public attendance would have been affected on April 30 owing to the large number of marriages it was decided to alter the dates.

"As per the new schedule he will arrive at Neemuch on May 1 where he will hold a public meeting before heading for Nayagaon and, finally, Nimbaheda from where the Yatra will cross over into Rajasthan", added Vijayvargiya.

Earlier, Advani addressed a late night meeting at the Mandsaur Bus Stand where he harangued the UPA government for repealing POTA and failing to address national security issues. "The Congress obviously thinks that all Muslims are supporters of terrorism. Why else would it repeal anti-terrorist legislation to capture minority votes", he demanded to know.

The meeting was among the best attended of all the gatherings witnessed during the Yatra so far with around 8,000 people, mostly inhabitants of adjoining rural areas, turning up for the event.

First Published: Apr 30, 2006 15:14 IST