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Why Advani needs to tread carefully in Bengaluru

Last updated on: October 24, 2011 15:57 IST

Why Advani needs to tread carefully in Bengaluru

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru

As Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani's date with Bengaluru inches closer, the Karnataka opposition is up in arms questioning the rationale behind his yatra in the state.

On Saturday, it was decided that even though the yatra would go through Karnataka, the leader's rally at Bengaluru was cancelled owing to the many embarrassing political developments in the BJP-ruled state.

However, Advani's rally is back on now. On Monday, it was finalised that the rally would be held at the National College Grounds on October 30.

As per the plan, Advani would reach coastal Karnataka from Kerala and then fly down to Bengaluru to address the rally.

The BJP in Karnataka has no option but to play along and facilitate this rally in Bengaluru, which they would have so badly wanted to avoid. The opposition, meanwhile, terms it a mock show and a case of hypocrisy.

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Image: LK Advani

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When asked for his reaction, State Congress chief Dr Parameshwar said: "It is meaningless when there is so much corruption undertaken by his own party. I fail to understand why he is coming here. Is is to inquire about the well being of his men who are languishing in the central jail in Bengaluru?"

The BJP in Karnataka was initially charged up about this yatra and wanted him to address a massive convention at Bengaluru as well. However, things started to change once the court ordered the arrest of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

A BJP leader told rediff.com, "It is something we could have done away with. The timing is just not right and this could be quite embarrassing for the party, as there is a lot that is happening over here."

"We had conveyed many a time to the central leadership about the cancellation of the Bengaluru rally at least. However, they had a different opinion and say that action has been taken against the corrupt and skipping Bengaluru would have shown that we are on a weak footing."



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Why Advani needs to tread carefully in Bengaluru

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Normally, any BJP-related event is a huge draw in Bengaluru. However, the mood is not upbeat this time around.

When Yeddyurappa stepped down from power, there was a clear split in the Karnataka BJP that eventually led to a secret ballot to elect a new chief minister.

After Yeddyurappa's arrest one must have thought that the rival camp would be happy. However, opposite camp too has its own share of problems today -- first was the arrest of Janardhan Reddy and now the fact that Home Minister R Ashok is in the dock.

Party insiders say that Advani's rally in Bengaluru could be a two-edged sword.

The issue in focus would be the corruption within the UPA government. However, Advani cannot avoid the issue in Karnataka. He will have to make a statement to that effect and also answer a lot of questions regarding his own party in the state.

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However, he would also have to tread carefully on the issue, as he cannot anger his party men too much either. This is mainly because the party is almost undertaking a rebuilding exercise in the state under a new leadership.

What Advani will need to take into consideration while addressing the Yeddyurappa issue is that the latter still enjoys good support. There are many, including Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda, who are highly indebted to him.

Advani has faced the wrath of Yeddyurappa's supporters in the past too when he has criticised him. They feel that Advani's outbursts against Yeddyurappa have been at the behest of senior party leader Ananth Kumar.

The inside information is that efforts are on to pacify the Yeddyurappa faction to cooperate with Advani's October 31 rally. This has basically put Advani in a dilemma.



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