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17 October 2011

With arrest of Yeddyurappa for corruption Advani should abandon ‘Jan Chetna Yatra’: SDPI

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: With the arrest of former Karnataka Chief Minister Mr. B.S.Yeddyurappa, a Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), leader, in a corruption case, the Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has said that winds have come out of sail from the BJP senior leader Mr. L. K. Advani’s ongoing “Rath Yatra” against corruption.

E. Aboobacker National president of SDPI, in a statement said that the trail of “Jan Chetna Yatra” road campaign undertaken by Mr. Advani aimed at increasing awareness about corruption and instilling confidence in a "brighter India" among the common man has recoiled on him and the party he represents. With Yeddyurappa having been sent on “Jail Yatra” it has exposed the BJP's “duplicity”. He should stop and put an end to this hypocrisy. The government in Karnataka was “illegitimate” as it was formed after a fractured mandate in 2008 polls, he added.

Mr. Aboobacker said perhaps it would have been far more appropriate if the anti-corruption yatra had been first undertaken in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, and Punjab where BJP ministers and functionary have been indicted on charges of corruption.

He said that the BJP’s dream of capturing power in the four southern states by making Karnataka its "Gateway to South India" is turning out to be a nightmare after its first chief minister in the state Yeddyurappa was sent to jail for corruption.

“We in India are ostensibly democratic, but our functioning has always been decidedly feudal, autocratic, even colonial, with the Browns replacing the Whites. This malaise of obtuse arrogance affects all who get elected to office or occupy those inordinately powerful and unsackable posts in the Government”, the statement said.

Mr. Aboobacker stated that all these premonitory indications can be unnerving for Advani if only because his latest venture is evidently the last throw of the dice where fulfilling his latent ambition is concerned. He had missed his first chance in the wake of his first yatra - when he had surged ahead of Atal Bihari Vajpayee within the BJP for a while - after he became embroiled in a Hawala scandal.

Since the Sangh Parivar has, over the years, mastered the art of managing several political WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) shows (earlier known as WWF) there is no dearth of observers who believe that all this news of infighting in BJP is a well-calculated exercise to refurbish the image of Advani, he said.

Mr. Aboobacker said it appears as if Mr. Advani known as “Loh Purush” (Iron Man) has been reduced “Low Purush”. He pointed out that cash-for-coverage scandal has taken the fizz out of Advani's ambitious “Jan Chetna Yatra” against corruption and black money with the BJP leaders in Madhya Pradesh “attempting to bribe” journalists for favourable coverage of the yatra. Envelopes containing currency notes worth Rs. 500-1,000 were reportedly handed out to journalists during a press conference called by local BJP Member of Parliament Mr. Ganesh Singh at the district party office in Satna, a day ahead of Mr. Advani’s press conference there.

Meanwhile, the release said: “It is regrettable that Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray reportedly in a statement in the party's mouthpiece, “Dopahar Ka Saamna” congratulated the people who attacked senior lawyer and Team Anna member Mr. Prashant Bhushan in his chamber in the Supreme Court in Delhi. Thackeray referred to Bhushan's statements on Jammu and Kashmir and said: "Shabbaash! Those who speak of dividing the country should be taught a lesson like this."

This is an open invitation to incite people to take law into their own hands without entering into a meaningful dialogue by the Shiv Sena chief which requires condemnation from all quarters, the release added.

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

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