Kasargod (Ker), Jan 16 (PTI) BJP President NitinGadkari today demanded convening of a meeting of ChiefMinisters of Southern states immediately to discuss safety ofpilgrims visiting the hill shrine at Sabarimala in Kerala.
Inaugurating the ''Kerala Raksha Padhayatra'', led byState BJP President V Muraleedharan at nearby Uppala, Gadkariblamed successive governments for not paying adequateattention to the safety of Ayyappa devotees visiting the holyshrine.
Hundred and two persons were killed and 50 injured ina stampede at Pullumedu near Sabarimala hill shrine on Fridaylast.
Gadkari alleged that both the Left Democratic Front(LDF) and opposition United Democratic Front had betrayed thepeople on various issues over the years by giving falsepromises.
He expressed confidence over BJP winning a seat in thecoming assembly elections, which would witness many seniorparty leaders in the fray.
He also criticised the hike in petrol prices, sayingit would adversely affect the common man, already facing thestrain of increase in prices of essential items.
The yatra, meant to expose ''anti-people'' policies ofsuccessive state governments, will traverse through the 140assembly constituencies in Kerala before culminating atThiruvananthapuram on February 26.
Among those present were Karnataka Home Minister V SAcharya, former union minister O Rajagopal, BJP State GeneralSecretaries A N Radhakrishnan and K Surendran.