Advani started this Rath Yatra in support of the movement for liberation of Ramjanmabhoomi in Ayodhya from Somnath (Gujarat) after the Janata Dal government led by V P Singh had announced implementation of the Mandal Commission report, reserving 27 percent jobs for OBC classes in central government services.
The Yatra was supposed to terminate at Ayodhya on October 30, but Advani was arrested by the Lalu Prasad's government in Samastipur, Bihar on October 23 and the yatra was terminated prematurely. Its immediate impact was the fall of the V P Singh government, which was supported by the BJP, as the latter withdrew support.
Left stares into political abyss
The Yatra and the subsequent Ayodhya movement unleashed by the BJP and other constituents of the RSS family led to large scale Hindu Muslim riots throughout the country. The BJP for the first time formed its government in UP as a result of it but the government led by Chief Minister Kalyan Singh was subsequently dismissed in 1993 after the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya.
While the Ayodhya movement phase of the BJP saw a sudden spurt in its support base, it also exposed the limitation of its rabid Hindutva plank, which made it untouchable for other parties in a coalitional era. The BJP would ultimately manage a ruling coalition in 1998 only after it dropped the Ayoidhya issue from the agenda of the National Democratic Alliance that it led.
Image: Senior BJP leader LK Advani with party president Rajnath Singh during BJP parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi.