Rajkot/Bhubaneshwar, Apr 6: Former BJP Chief L K Advani and his successor Rajnath Singh launched their twin Bharat Suraksha Yatra from Rajkot in Gujarat and Bhubaneshwar in Orissa respectively on the auspicious Ram Navami day today to ''mobilise mass support against worsening situation of internal security in the country under the the UPA government''.
The two BJP stalwarts, who will cover about 10,800 kilometers between them across 17 states before the campaign culminates at New Delhi on May 10, called upon the masses to shun the political forces which compromised with terrorist and divisive forces for the sake of their ''vote-banks.'' Flanked by three BJP Chief Ministers -- Narendra Modi, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan -- the former Prime Minister launched a frontal attack on the Congress-led UPA government as he exhorted the nation's security 'think-tanks' to assess the ''dangers of appeasement policies, minorityism and the wrong policies pursued by the Centre.'' These faulty policies were not only compromising the national security but also jeopardising the interests of the common man and poor farmers ''for the sake of securing votes for one particular family'', Mr Advani said.
Before beginning his 6000-km-long journey, Mr Advani sought the blessings of Lord Krishna at Dwarka and paid a visit to the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
At the temple city of Bhubaneshwar, BJP President Rajnath Singh embarked on his 35-day-long Bharat Suraksha Yatra making a fervent appeal to the country's Muslim population to reject the ''minority appeasement'' policy of the government.
''The BJP is not against Muslims...in fact the party wants that Hindus and Muslims should stay together and be treated equally,'' Mr Singh said, adding that the minority community had been used as ''vote bank'' by the Congress without getting any real benefit from the party's 42 years of rule.
The BJP President commenced his yatra after addressing a huge rally attended by Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Prior to embarking on the yatra, Mr Singh offered prayers at the Jagannath Temple in Puri in the morning.