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Home > News > Report

Muslims to welcome Advani's yatra, says Gujarat minister

Sheela Bhatt in Ahmedabad | April 05, 2006 15:02 IST

Gujarat's Minister of State for Home Amit Shah told rediff.com that Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart Lal Kishenchand Advani's yatra, which sets off on Thursday, will neither create communal tension norpose a security problem.

Strongly denying the charge that the yatra will add to the fear among Muslims, Shah said many Muslims fromJuhapura in his constituency have come forward to greet Advani on his arrival at Ahmedabad, his first overnight stay.

Shah claimed that allarrangements were in place and the party machinery was fully geared to make surethe first phase of Advani's yatra is successful.

Shah refused to compare the current yatrawith Advani's previous yatras.

"We can say with confidence that the issues raised in the yatra will be responded to well by the people," he said.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Gujarat unit of the BJP have been hard at work preparing for the rath yatra since one month. The party has roped in the state ministers, its legislatorsand members of Parliament who have each beengiven a 15-km stretch of the yatra's path to supervise.

BJP MP Jayant Barot, an excellent organiser, andformer legislator Kamlesh Patel are supervising the whole affair.

Shah is confidentAdvani's yatra will not face any trouble because in the last three years, after the communal riots sparked off by the Godhra train carnage, the law and order situation in the state has been normal. Some even say "amazingly normal", in view of the statistics the Gujarat police has provided: Less than 10 incidents of private firing inthe state while 27 criminals have died in 37 encounters.

Sources in the state home department claim that after the communal riots of 2002, a new trend has emerged, with more and more Gujarati Muslims seeking their children's educationin regular schools; consequently,the rate ofnew admissions in madrassas has fallen;and eventhe number of anti-social elements from the Muslim community are on the declinecompared to the previous decade.

The BJP, however, is not taking the threat perception lightly. Advani will be surrounded by some 100 policeman all the time while on the road.

In Ahmedabad his route will be covered by more than 3,000 policemen.

BJP leaders point out thatAdvani has been provided the highest security since15 years, so his security can't be made an issue by the Congress to scuttle the yatra.

The United Progressive Alliance government offeredhim bullet-proof cover justfive days before the yatra, although it was announced more than a month ago.

OnTuesday night, more than 22 ministers from Modi's cabinet were busymaking last-minute arrangements to mobilisepeople --from the teachers union to the co-operative sector tothe BJP-affiliated associations. The ministers ended their day at 2 am.

"Advaniji deserves our time and energy," remarked a minister.





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Number of User Comments: 8




Sub: half researched story - rediff i pity you.

I actually had stopped visitin Rediff for the obvious reason..to avoid all the crapy news such as this one - 'Muslims will welcome Advani'. No ...


Posted by khalid





Sub: AS ABOVE

It is a great feeling to hear this news item. If this only happens ie Muslims working for Hindus and the Hindus working for the ...


Posted by DEEPAK





Sub: Rath yatra.

This looks terribly strange that the rath yatra which had created so many menance in society still getting high lighted and allowance from certain sector ...


Posted by Ilyas





Sub: On Yatras and Jatras

Indian Populace deserves better service from the veteran politicians of our times. Yatras are rightful domain of the Sadhus and swami's and they ought lead ...


Posted by George Olivera





Sub: mind your language!!

its you media which advertise so much about just one stage show,and how dare to say that "new trend has emerged, with more and more ...


Posted by tousif




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