Mahant, who is also Union Minister, said that the first meeting will be more of a meeting to pay tribute to the victims of the Naxal violence including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel. 28 people were killed and 36 injured, including former union minister Vidya Charan Shukla, in the May 25 attack. Former Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and Dinesh, son of Nand Kumar Patel were among those killed.
The 'Parivartan rally' had come under attack at Jiram valley in Darbha block when it was on its way to Keslur town in Jagdalpur district. Mahant said the state leaders have requested Rahul to be present at the conclusion of the Yatra in early July.
Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh are due by the year-end along with those in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. Commenting on the developments in BJP after the elevation of Narendra Modi, Mahant said the resignation of LK Advani from all key party posts showed that it was "heading towards destruction".
"BJP is known as Atal-Advani party. Now Atal is not active and Advani has resigned from key posts. It is for you to guess now what will happen to that party." Mahant replied in the negative when asked whether Modi's anointment as chairman of BJP election campaign committee for the 2014 polls, will have an impact in poll-bound Chhattisgarh. "There is no chance of Modi cutting any ice in Chhattisgarh...," he said. The Congress leader took a dig at Modi for his government's false claim that Lord Ram had spent 'vanvas' (exile) in Gujarat.