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Advani yatra: Opposition may approach EC

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | March 04, 2004 09:11 IST

The Congress on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of approaching the election commission to protest against Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani's plan to take out a countrywide yatra.

The yatra could evoke a reaction similar to the one in 1990, when Advani took out a Rath Yatra to mobilise opinion for the Ram temple cause, a Congress leader said.

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He pointed that opposition leaders like Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan had already protested against the trip.

Congress leader and former Uttar Pradesh party chief Salman Khursheed said the yatra was "more of a kshama (apology) yatra.

"It is a movement from North Block to South Block," Khursheed said, indicating that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who sits in South Block, was making way for Advani.

"The whole effort is to establish Advani" and was part of the power struggle within the Bharatiya Janata Party, he said.

Khursheed said the yatra was sure to meet many roadblocks.

According to him, some opinion polls had indicated that Advani had little chance of becoming PM.

The BJP had hidden agendas -- implementing the Uniform Civil Code, building temples in Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi and abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution, he said.

"If the BJP comes to power with a majority, they will precisely do these three things…" he told

"They want to pull a fraud on democracy."

Asked about the possibility of the Congress tying up with the Samajwadi Party, he said, "We are trying to have a dialogue with the Bahujan Samaj Party. I am not authorised to say beyond that."

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