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Advani to launch another yatra
March 08, 2006 15:26 IST
Donning the Hindutva cap once again after the Jinnah interlude, Leader of Opposition Lal Kishenchand Advani on Wednesday announced plans for undertaking yet another yatra in the wake of the blasts in Varanasi.
Making a scathing attack on the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan and the "minorityism" being pursued by the Congress-led government, Advani said he and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh will embark on twin 'national integration yatras'.
"Between us, we will try to cover the country in two-three weeks time. The logistics including when to start and where to start is being worked out," he said.
Advani, who had to step down late last year following a spat with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh over the Jinnah controversy, also announced that the party will not celebrate Holi and select senior leaders, including himself, will visit the blast-affected Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi on March 16.
The proposed 'national integration yatra' will be coinciding with the upcoming assembly elections in five states.
Advani maintained that despite the country being partitioned on communal lines and Pakistan declaring itself an Islamic state, India has remained democratic and secular because it is pre-dominantly Hindu. "India is what it is because it is Hindu."
Claiming that he had raised the issue of cross-border terrorism both with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during his visit last year and with US President George W Bush during his recent visit to India, he said, "The impression all over the world that terrorism has abated ever since India and Pakistan commenced a dialogue is not correct.
"I told both the leaders that we in India would not feel assured till the terrorist infrastructure across the border is not fully dismantled, till the assistance of weapons, communication and finances does not stop. It has not happened so far. There should be no let up in our effort to see that the terrorist infrastructure in that country is dismantled," he said.
Lambasting the Congress-led government, he said, "In the present global context, any political party which promotes minorityism for the sake of vote bank is dangerously contributing to religious fundamentalism and thereby causing a grave threat to national unity and security".
He proudly asserted that one of the reasons behind the BJP coming to occupy a central place in Indian politics is its "uncompromising stand on minorityism which has been by and large endorsed by the people."
"We had given the country terms like pseudo-secularism and from a strength of two in Parliament, we emerged as the principal ruling party for six years", the Leader of Opposition said.
"Minorityism as a political gambit can have dangerous consequences and it sometimes becomes anti-national," he said.
He also alleged that one consistent trend since UPA came to power was its conviction about the loss of Muslim votes and the efforts to win them back. He cited the reservations in Andhra Pradesh and Aligarh Muslims University, the alleged attempt by the ruling coalition to revive the IMDT which was struck down by the Supreme Court, the creation of a separate Ministry for Minorities and the Muslim headcount in the armed forces among the examples of "minorityism perpetrated by this government".
The former deputy prime minister also said the proposed yatras were against the "disruption of national unity and putting national security in jeopardy".
Asked whether the yatras were being done with an eye on the upcoming polls, he said, "We are a political party. We cannot disregard the polls in five states. Both Rajnath Singh and myself have to address several election rallies. But the yatra would pass through areas which are not relevant to the polls".