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BJP rolls out 'Tiranga Yatra'
September 10, 2004 13:15 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party's 'Tiranga-Yatra', led by former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti, on Friday set out on its journey from Hubli in northern Karnataka to Jallianwala Bagh in Punjab seeking to put the issues of nationalism, probity in public life and 'pseudo secularism' into sharper focus.
After an hour's delay caused by persistent drizzle, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani flagged off the yatra after handing over the national flag to Bharti as slogans of Bharat Mata ki jai and Vande Mataram rent the air.
Hundreds of enthusiastic BJP workers carrying party flags crowded the Rani Chenamma Circle and raised slogans hailing Advani and Bharti. The yatra rolled out amidst tight security, just a stone's throw distance away from the heavily barricaded Idgah Maidan.
It was in the disputed Idgah Maidan that the BJP had tried to hoist the national tri-colour in 1994. The stir led to violence and claimed six lives in police firing.
The yatra is part of the party's stepped up campaign against the ruling United Progressive Alliance.
In his speech, Advani described the 'Tiranga Yatra' as a 'historic event' and said it was focussed on three issues -- nationalism, probity in public life and 'pseudo secular forces'.Referring to the BJP's 'sudden interest' in the national flag, he reminded critics that it was the founder of the erstwhile Jan Sangh Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who had first spoken out against separate flags for Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India.