On the auspicious occasion of Ramnavami and on the Founding Day of the BJP-April 6, 2006-BJP Chief Rajnath Singh kickstarted Bharat Suraksha Yatra in the presence of Orissa Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shri Arjun Munda, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Shri Sushil Modi, Orissa BJP Legislative Party Leader and Minister for Industry, Law and Rural Development Shri Bishwabhushan Harichandan, Orissa BJP President Shri Jual Oram, Shri Vinay Katiyar, general secretary BJP, Orissa Revenue Minister Shri Manmohan Samal, BJYM National President Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP MPs from Orissa and many other ministers and senior leaders of the party. It was a grand show of the party in the state capital-Bhubaneswar-where more than ten thousand people thronged the inaugural ceremony of the yatra despite the scorching heat. The PMG Chowk of Bhubaneswar witnessed a mass rally under the leadership of Rajnath Singh to protest the ?favouritism? and ?minority appeasement policy? of the Congress-led UPA government. There was a huge gathering of villagers, Vanvasis, farmers and traders. Enthusiastic youth folk welcomed the BJP President with performance of cultural dances of different areas. The already hot environment was resounded with slogans of Jai Sri Ram, Vande Mataram, Jai Jagannath and Jai Utkal Janani. The day before the beginning of the yatra, Shri Rajnath Singh, as per the tradition, worshipped and offered a new jhanda (flag) to Lord Jagannath at Puri and started his yatra after taking permission from Lord Jagannath, who is an incarnation of Lord Krishna. On the first day of the Suraksha Yatra, Shri Rajnath Singh started his 40-day-long yatra from Bhubaneswar in a high-tech bullet-proof Swaraj Majda bus accompanied by yatra prabhari and national secretary Shri Vijay Goel, Shri Vinay Katiar, Shri Jual Oram and Shri B.B. Harichandan and covered a total distance of 204 km. After the Bhubaneswar meeting, Shri Rajnath Singh addressed public meetings at Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Talcher, and on the way, large crowds gave him grand receptions at Phulnakhara, Chaudwar, Khuntuni, Gudiakateni and Banarpal on the first day. Higher Education Minister and MLA of Cuttack, Shri Samir Dey organised a large public meeting in Cuttack. BJP MP Rudra Narayan Pani organised an impressive large crowd in Dhenkanal and BJYM President Dharmendra Pradhan organised a well-attended public meeting at Talcher. More than 100 cars and thousands of two wheelers were in the yatra where the party workers, media persons and common man accompanied Shri Rajnath Singh for a successful yatra.
BJP President Shri Rajnath Singh addressing the first mammoth rally of the Bharat Suraksha Yatra clearly warned the UPA government specially the Congress to refrain from the revival of the party'svote-bank politics and explained the dangers of politics of ?minorityism?. Calling on the Indian Muslims not to fall in the trap of the opportunistic political parties, he opined that some political parties in India like the Left and the Congress are infected with a deadly disease of ?secularism?. In fact BJP´s chief used strong words against the UPA government'spolicy of Muslim appeasement and said that there is a stiff competition among the ?secularists? as to who pursues the politics of ?minorityism? most aggressively. ?While competing, they also sometimes collaborate-as happened in the case of the unanimous resolution calling for the release of Abdul Nasser Madani, the main accused in the serial bomb blasts in Coimbatore in 1998. The politics of ?minorityism?, if unchecked, will prove a disaster for the country and far from helping the minorities, it actually undermines their development and well-being, Shri Singh said and added that the BJP is proud of India'spluralism and religious diversity. The BJP believes in the secular ideal of sarvapantha sam bhav and rejects the idea of a theocratic state. The BJP espouse the inviolability of the religious freedoms of all faiths. ?However, we are firmly against the notion of ?majority? and ?minority? gaining roots in the political life of India. This divisive mindset jeopardises the prospect of India being a united, integral and harmonious nation?, the BJP chief said.
He criticised the UPA government for its laxity in dealing with jehadi terrorism and said attacks in Delhi, Gandhinagar, Jammu and Varanasi are clear indicators that jehadis want to create a communal divide in India. He said the Congress and its allies have completely failed to educate the people about this grave danger to our national security. He said UPA government'sintention was exposed after it scraped POTA. He said Bangladesh has emerged as a second launch pad for cross-border terrorism and the Congress has assisted the demographic invasion from Bangladesh by the help of IMDT Act. And after the apex court'sjudgement in July 2005, the UPA government is trying to provide another legal protection to Bangladeshi infiltrators by incorporating all the nefarious provisions of the IMDT Act into the Foreigners Act and by extending the latter to the whole country.
Attacking the UPA government for lacking a clear policy to combat Maoist violence, the BJP President compared Maoist insurgents with jehadis. ?Both the anti-Indian movements work together in our northeastern states, and their common cause is to divide this country,? Shri Rajnath Singh argued. With BJP and its allied-ruled states in the firing line of Maoists, Shri Rajnath Singh said, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik'srepeated letters to the Centre have failed to yield the required support to fight left-wing terrorists.
The Bharat Suraksha Yatra of Shri L.K. Advani began from Rajkot on April 6. It is the sixth yatra by Shri Advani in the last 16 years. The first yatra was undertaken from Somnath to Ayodhya in September 1990.
This time ?it is a campaign against divisive politics and terror and a campaign for good governance?. The yatra is not against the minorities. It is against the growing minority appeasement in the country?.
After covering approximately a 6000-km distance and passing through 10 states in 33 days, the yatra is scheduled to culminate at Ramlila grounds of Delhi on May 10, the 150th anniversary of the first freedom movement of 1857.
The Chaudhary High School of Rajkot, from where the yatra began, was packed to capacity. Over 30,000 people including a large number of youth and women welcomed Shri Advani in a jubilant mood. The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Shri Jaswant Singh, Shri Ananth Kumar, incharge of the yatra, Shri Ravishankar Prasad, former Union Minister, Shri Omprakash Mathur, BJP incharge of Gujarat, three Chief Ministers-Shri Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Smt. Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) and Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh)-Gujarat BJP President Shri Vajhubhai Wala and former Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Keshubhai Patel were among the prominent personalities present at the inauguration ceremony. Shri Advani was presented a bow and an arrow on the occasion.
A total of nine platforms were erected at the inauguration ground. Except the main dais, which had giant posters of Sri Rama and where the leaders sat, the other eight platforms were for senior saints of Gujarat and other cultural activities. The whole Rajkot city turned saffron overnight with the party flags and banners. In the morning, all roads of the city appeared to be leading to the Chaudhary High School.
As Shri Advani entered the pandal, he was accorded a traditional welcome amidst chanting of Vedic hymns. The participants welcomed him with slogans of Vande Mataram, Bharat mata ki jai and Jai Sri Ram. ?We all have come here to tell Advaniji to lead and expose the threat to national security,? said Sonal Bhatt (28), a resident of Rajkot. Not only this, a small boy, Jignesh Bhatt who studies at Sun Shine school of Rajkot in Class III, said, ?I have come to ?encourage? Advaniji.?
Before initiating the yatra, Shri Advani visited the Dwarikadheesh temple in Dwarika on April 5 and also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Kirti Mandir at Porbandhar in the morning of April 6.
The yatra began from Rajkot at sharp 1 pm. After the formal pooja, Shri Jaswant Singh flagged off the yatra, which had the first halt at R.K. Dentle College at Tramba. The 300-km distance from Rajkot to Ahmedabad via Bhavnagar highway was covered in eight hours. In the route, there were 11 meeting points and five public meetings. Despite the scorching heat, at every halt the yatra was greeted very enthusiastically by villagers. At every meeting Shri Advani was accorded traditional welcome with girls carrying mangal kalash on their head. Even in small villages like Sardhar, Aatkot, Jasdan, Vichhiya, Umrala, Vagad and Gunjar, it appeared that the whole village lined up along the yatra route to extend their support to Shri Advani, who was accompanied by Shri Narendra Modi from Rajkot to Ahmedabad. The meetings in Jasdan, Paliyad, Dhandhuka and Bavla witnessed huge crowd.
The response Shri Advani received in Gujarat indicates that the yatra will have a lasting impact on the politics of the country. ?Advaniji has taken this painful step in such a hot season and also in this old age, not for his personal gains but for the nation. If security of the country is in danger, nothing remains,? said Shri Ananth Kumar, incharge of the yatra. ?Such yatras provide an opportunity to understand people'sproblems very closely,? said Smt. Vasundhara Raje.
Shri Advani made it clear that the yatra is not against minorities. ?Minorityism being encouraged by Congress-Leftists combine in the country is in nobody'sinterest. Though it directly benefits us as an opposition party, but we do not want such benefit. Nothing is important than the national interest,? he added. Elaborating on the yatra'sobjectives he said Bharat Suraksha meant overall security including political, economical and social for all Indians. ?Security from terrorists and foreign attacks is always a prime concern. But people should also get protection from economic, social and political dangers,? he said and added that the yatra has nothing to do with elections. ?We aim to bring an overall change-the way the Ram Rath Yatra had changed the country'spolitical scenario,? he said.
About Shri Ram temple in Ayodhya, Shri Advani appealed to Muslims to mutually allow Hindus to reconstruct Sri Ram temple in Ayodhya. ?If it happens and both the communities come together on this, it will bring unprecedented harmony and goodwill. Approval of Muslim leaders could turn out to be the best option, better than court verdicts and legislation in Parliament,? he said. He, however, regretted that the BJP-led NDA government could do little in this regard as alliance partners were against it. Later, addressing a huge gathering in Ahmedabad, Shri Advani appealed to Muslims to take inspiration from Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and Sania Mirza. He said if still they are not inspired they should look up to the President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam for positive energies and strength. Shri L.K. Advani said the priority before the UPA government is not jan kalyan (public welfare) but atma kalyan (self-welfare) and somehow it wants to establish the dynasty rule in the country. The growing infiltration from Bangladesh is a major danger to the country. The magic of Shri Narendra Modi'sgood governance was clearly visible in every public meeting. He said leaders sitting in Delhi are compromising on the issue of the security of the country. Referring to the repeal of POTA, he said whatever disastrous steps the UPA government takes to boost the moral of terrorists, Narendra Modi will not allow even a single terrorist to survive in Gujarat. ?I have decided that only one, either Modi or terrorism, will survive in the land of Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi.? About the U.C. Banerjee Committee´s report, he said if Supreme Court can punish one witness for turning hostile, why cannot an action be taken against a committee set up to shield culprits? ?The law should be equal for all,? he added.
Shri Jaswant Singh said the security of the country could not be ensured until elements like Quattrocchi have a say in our affairs. This yatra would give a new direction to politics in the country, he said.