Bharat Uday Yatra has set 'high standards': Advani
Judging from the warmth with which the yatra was greeted, Advani said he was convinced that poll results will spring a few surprises and give Atal a decisive mandate for a third term in Govt.
Claiming that Vajpayee government will be returned to power in the Lok Sabha elections, Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani on Wednesday said his 8,500 km Bharat Uday Yatra had set "high standards" on which governments will in future be assessed and the urge for development and good governance would come from the people themselves.
Talking to newsmen on the last day of his 33-day long yatra, Advani said, "The popular response to the yatra has been staggering."
"Judging from the warmth and enthusiasm with which the yatra was greeted and its message received, I am convinced that the general election results will spring a few surprises and give Atal Bihari Vajpayee a decisive mandate for a third term in government," he said.
"I believe that the Yatra has set high standards on which governments' future will be assessed, in turn putting pressure from below on them to perform," Advani said.
Demands for development and good governance will come from the people themselves, he said ahead of terminating his yatra at Puri on Wednesday evening, which criss-crossed the length and breadth of India and touched 128 Lok Sabha constituencies.
There can be no comparison with Mahatma Gandhi, who was a tapaswi (sage) while I am a political worker, Advani said adding at a personal level the yatra has been a learning process.
"While participating in the feel good, I have become actually aware of the distance we still have to travel before the country realises its full potential."
The yatra has been both "exhilarating and humbling", Advani said adding, it was a traditional Indian method of disseminating a message. "Earlier people did it on foot, I took the advantage of a bus."
"It is the third major yatra that I have undertaken as I have found that its the most effective method of reaching out to the people."
"It was, however, unlike my two earlier yatras which though conducted at the behest of the BJP, were not directly linked to elections," he said.
On the success of the yatra which ends today on Ambedkar jayanti he said, it had instilled a sense of national pride in the people and the achievements of the country over the past years has brought the people from a long spell of despondency cynicism and political instability, he said.
It is this change of mood which I have encapsulated in the term 'feel-good'. I also reminded people of the assurance of suraj or good governance I made in 1997 during the Swarn Jayanti Yatra adding, "I hold that NDA government has introduced a tradition of good governance that has led to tangible development on many fronts."
On using yatra as mode of election campaign, he said, I sought votes for the BJP and our allies in the NDA on the promise of making India a developed economy and a world power by 2020 when all six lakh Indian villages will have good roads, drinking water, power and schools.