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'Threat to BJP yatras is serious'
Onkar Singh in Jaisalmer | March 31, 2006 16:14 IST
Last Updated: March 31, 2006 16:52 IST
Minister of State for Home Affairs Sri Prakash Jaiswal said that the government of India has already issued advisories to state governments on the threat perception to former deputy prime minister L K Advani and the Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh who are starting on two separate Rath Yatras on April 6.
Jaiswal told rediff.com that the threat perception is serious and it is up to the BJP whether or not to continue with the proposed yatras.
"The BJP is not going to get political mileage out of these yatras. We have conveyed our assessment and it for Advani and Rajnath Singh to decide whether or not it is prudent to go ahead," he said.
Directions have already been given to all the states through which the yatras pass to ensure full protection to both. "It is the responsibility of the state governments to provide adequate security. We have asked them to travel in bullet-proof vehicles and wear bullet-proof jackets. For some reason they are not willing to travel by bullet-proof vehicles," Jaiswal said.
Advani and Rajnath yatras would pass through ten and 12 states respectively.
When asked whether the home ministry has evolved any plan to protect the two leaders, Jaiswal said the government would continue to keep passing inputs to the states.
Meanwhile, Jaiswal agreed to help the Border Security Force personnel by allocating 20 camels each to 19 battalions posted in Rajasthan. He also raised the purchase price from Rs 11,000 per camel to Rs 15,000.
"I understand that there is a shortfall of 15-20 camels each. Each battalion needs to have at least 60 camels. Every year 15 camels are phased out because of age and health factors. We need a camel for every ten men. For chasing border crossers, the camel is the best," he said.
He visited the BSF border outposts and checked on the working conditions of the soldiers. He promised to look into their complaints and said that they the government would do whatever necessary to improve their service conditions," he said.