Advani upbeat about taking Suraksha Yatra to Karnataka
Solapur, Apr 11: The BJP and its former chief L K Advani might have regrets about the inablity to capture the minds of Karnataka electorate with the 'India Shining and feel good factor' during the party's ''Bharat Uday Yatra'', the veteran leader is oozing confidence as he prepares to traverse the state where the BJP forms a part of the Janata Dal (Secular)-led coalition government.
After touring the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, the Bharat Suraksha Yatra of Mr Advani will enter Karnataka, considered as the 'gateway to south' and the state unit of the saffron party is all set to accord a grand reception to its second tallest leader after former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee.
Along with BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar, who is looking forward to steer the yatra in his home state, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and other ministers will accompany the yatra criss-crossing several north-Karnataka districts for the next three days.
The party has chosen Bellary as one of the destinations to highlight the fact that they had wrested this Congress fortress in the last Parliament elections. Congress President Sonia Gandhi had won this seat trouncing high profile BJP candidate Sushma Swaraj in the 1999 Parliament elections only to vacate the seat in favour of her Rae Bareli seat in Uttar Pradesh.
Mr Advani is sure to stress upon the need to curb illegal infiltrations from the Bangladesh borders, specially in view of the Bangladeshi links of the terrorists who were behind the attack on the Indian Institute of Science in Banglore in December last year.
Mr Advani's yatra in Gujarat stretch has had a dominant presence of state Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whose popularity has witnessed a resurgence as the BJP swept the recently held local polls where it secured the Muslim dominated council seats as well.
Whenever Mr Modi was not present, Smriti Irani, the Television 'Bahu' of the famous soap opera 'quoonki saas bhi ek bahu thi' provided the 'pep' to the yatra undertaken to highlight the dangers of promoting minorityism at the cost of the national interests and the challenges posed by the political parties indulging in the Muslim appeasement policy.
In the Maharashtra leg, BJP Chief Nitin Gadkari accompanied Mr Advani for the first two days and was joined by flamboyant BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan in Pune, the hub of sugar belt politics. They are now holding rallies in the pilgrim and trading town of Solapur known for the famous Siddarameshawar temple surrounded by a lake, in a Sharana version of Amritsar's Golden temple.