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18 October 2011

Fallout of Yeddyurappa arrest: Advani avoiding direct media contact, Press conf. cancelled

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP) leader L.K. Advani is feeling the heat of the arrest of former Karnataka Chief Minister Mr. B. S. Yeddyurappa, in a corruption case.

It appears that Mr. Yeddyurappa has darkened the prospects of Mr. Advani's "Jan Chetna Yatra". This is the second shock for Mr. Advani after his Rath Yatra entered Madhya Pradesh. The incident of cash for coverage taking place at Satna town of the state and then the arrest of Mr. Yeddyurappa on corruption charges sending him on “Jail Yatra” has blurred BJP's.

As a result of Mr. Yeddyurappa's arrest Mr. Advani has avoided direct contact with media persons while on the Madhya Pradesh leg of is "Jan Chetna Yatra". The scheduled press conferences which was to be addressed by Mr. Advani were cancelled in Hoshangabad on Sunday and on Monday in Chhindwara with managers of the Yatra putting forth lame excuse that he (Mr. Advani) was having sore throat. The sore throat reason was given despite the fact that Mr. Advani addressed public meetings on Sunday at Salkanpur, Bhopal and Chhindwara.

Sources claimed BJP is fighting shy of facing the Press to avoid uncomfortable questions on Mr. Yeddyurappa. No BJP leader has an answer to the query as to how Mr. Advani's sore throat was preventing him from addressing Press conferences when he was speaking at public meetings.

According to the state media in-charge Dr. Hitesh Vajpayee, Advani will not be in a position to talk for long time due to throat infection. He said national spokesman and national general secretary Mr. Ravishankar Prasad who is accompanying Mr. Advani, where needed, is giving answers to the questions raised by the journalists.

When news persons approached Mr. Ravishankar Prasad while the Rath Yatra was on its way to Bhopal on Sunday seeking his reaction to Mr. Yeddyurappa arrest in a corruption case, he not only parried the question but attacked Congress on the issue. He accused the Congress of protecting "corrupt leaders" like P. Chidambaram, A. Raja and Sheila Dikshit.

Mr. Prasad said:"Congress party's hypocritical approach on corruption is too well known. It shamelessly saves Mr. Chidambaram; the prime minister gives a certificate of innocence to Mr. Raja, who is now in jail; Mrs. Sheila Dikshit is being saved in the most brazen way after the CAG and Shunglu Committee report".

Meanwhile, political observers feel that cancelling Mr. Advani’s Press conferences after Mr. Yeddyurappa arrest in a corruption case and not commenting on the incident it clearly shows that by opposing corruption BJP’s road to power is not as easy as the party had thought it to be.

Mr. Advani is undoubtedly, is amongst the honest leaders in the country but are all those who are in the party have the same integrity as him. The presence of leaders like Mr. Bangaru Laxman, Mr. Dilip Singh Judeo and Mr. Yeddyurappa in the party makes Advani attack on corruption ineffective.

When crores of rupees is being spent on the "Jan Chetna Yatra", how Mr. Advani would justify that only white money was used on it? The BJP would have to answer that no black money is used in the Yatra of Mr. Advani, who is hitting hard on black money stashed in foreign banks

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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