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Govt cautions BJP against threats

BJP dresses up vehicles as chariots resembling carriages of Hindu gods to garner Hindu votes ahead of elections.
None | By Agence France-Presse, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2006 10:02 PM IST

Government has advised Hindu leaders to use armoured vehicles during their electoral rallies next month as a precaution against terror attacks, officials said on Friday.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dresses up vehicles as chariots resembling battle carriages of Hindu gods as part of its revivalist campaign to garner Hindu votes ahead of elections.

The home ministry said the BJP must take precautions before leaving on their inter-city electoral drives on April 6.

"Both rallies would be attractive targets for terrorist groups," it quoted a classified advisory to the BJP as saying.

"They would be also passing through areas affected by Maoist insurgencies," it said, adding the BJP has been asked to bullet-proof the "chariots" which will be used by party leaders.

National Security Advisor MK Narayanan has warned that New Delhi had "specific intelligence about threats" to LK Advani during his pre-poll rally in the Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP and the ruling Congress party are bracing for elections next month in five states.

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