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Congress, CPI(M) object to Advani's yatra

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MARCH 2. The Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) today objected to the Bharatiya Janata Party's announcement that the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, would launch a Bharat uday bus yatra, and urged the Election Commission to take "strong and immediate action."

The Congress said Mr. Advani's proposed yatra was a "direct panic reaction" to the ``success'' of the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi's Jan Sampark Abhiyan .

"Afraid of being marginalised in the wake of Ms. Gandhi's highly successful programme, Mr. Advani is trying to grab the political centre stage. We can only hope that Mr. Advani's latest yatra will not be accompanied with widespread and mindless violence that accompanied his rath yatra in 1990," the party media secretary, Tom Vadakkan said.

The CPI (M) described the bus yatra as a "deplorable step" and said that it could result in vitiating the atmosphere.

In a statement, the politburo said though the BJP leader projected it as one to spread the party's message and NDA's agenda, he had declared that there was "an intrinsic link" with his previous yatras.

"Thus under the cover of an election campaign the BJP leadership is once again seeking to arouse communal passions in the garb of a resurgent nationalism. One has only to recall the havoc created by Advani's rath yatra on the temple issue in 1990."

"The Election Commission should examine whether such a campaign will help the conduct of elections in a peaceful and democratic atmosphere," the party said.

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