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Saffron brigade rallies behind Advani on yatra

Under attack from secular parties, the Sangh Parivar and BJP closed ranks and rallied behind Advani.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 12:48 IST

Under attack from secular parties, the Sangh Parivar and BJP on Monday closed ranks and rallied behind LK Advani on his proposed yatra.

Advani announced the controversial 'National Integration Yatra' from April 6 in the wake of the Varanasi bomb blasts.

Refuting reports and speculation of differences within the Parivar on the Yatra, RSS Chief KS Sudarshan, in a strongly-worded statement from the Sangh Headquarters in Nagpur, said there was "no question of RSS opposing" the twin yatras being undertaken by Advani and Party President Rajnath Singh.

He recalled that the recent RSS General Council meeting in Nagpur had passed resolutions on the dangers posed by minority appeasement to national unity and integrity and said "any effort to create public awareness in this regard will have our support."

Advani had announced the twin yatras in the wake of the Varanasi blasts on March 7 triggering speculation that it was a unilateral decision which did not enjoy the support of either the party leaders or the Saffron fraternity.

VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Acharya Giriraj Kishore had publicly expressed their reservations on the yatra.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, in the first public statement in Advani's defence, BJP Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Vijay Kumar Malhotra asserted that the party was "united" on the yatra and alleged that the "so-called secularists" have become "jittery and unnerved" by the proposed programme.

First Published: Mar 13, 2006 18:45 IST