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The suspense over the BJP’s next prime ministerial candidate may continue to linger, but the party is almost through with its preparation for veteran Lal Krishna Advani’s Jan Chetna Yatra. The 83-year-old leader will be beginning his sixth such march tomorrow — this time against corruption, and starting from from Saran district in Bihar.
“Tomorrow is a big day for us, said BJP Bihar chief C P Thakur. “It is going to be one of the most important events of Independent India. The preparations are almost over.”
Although the yatra will formally begin at Sitabdiara (the birthplace of late social leader Jayaprakash Narayan), but rath (chariot) will roll out from Chapra.
“Actually,” Thakur said, “there has been constant rain here in past few days. Hence, we decided to do the flagging-off from Chapra (the district headquarter of Saran).”
According to the party sources, the entire village has been decorated to welcome Advani and state chief minister Nitish Kumar, a leader of the JD(U) which is a key ally of the BJP-led NDA.
Late JP’s native house has been specially decked up for the occasion. A wooden stage has been created for the leaders, from where they will formally start the yatra and address the public.
Incidentally, this will be the first time in last four years that the people of Sitabdiara will have electricity. The Bihar government is purchasing the requisite power from Uttar Pradesh.
Sources in the state government told there would be a new system to light up the village from tomorrow. “The chief minister will himself be inaugurating it,” an official said.
After starting off the yatra, Advani and Nitish fly to Chapra. There will be a public meeting, and then Nitish will flag off the Rath. Advani, along with his family and senior party leaders, will then head for Patna.
In late Wednesday afternoon, there will be another public meeting in Patna. To welcome the leader who will turn 84 during the course of the march, the organisers in the state capital have erected 84 gates in the city, with welcome messages flying high on them.
No chief minister from the BJP-ruled states will be joining Advani at the start of his anti-graft march.