Second day in a row, BJP chief Amit Shah will not be attending party's ambitious Janaraksha Yatra in Kerala on Thursday. The Kerala unit of the party announced that Shah won't be attending the padayatra, instead he will be in Delhi to attend important meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. A high-level meet is currently underway at the prime minister's residence with a major announcement expected soon, reported CNN-News18.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) October 5, 2017
Manorama, too, cited TV reports saying that Shah had to cancel his visit to attend a meeting called by Modi. Shah was supposed to rejoin the Janarakha Yatra on Thursday as it passed though the CPM hotbed in Kannur. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took over the baton on Wednesday. The yatra would also go past Pinarayi, the hometown of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The BJP has not yet said who will lead the yatra on Thursday. This will be the second consecutive day that the BJP president fails to appear in the Janaraksha Yatra which he had flagged off on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Kerala unit of the party tweeted out that BJP cadres in Kerala are "enough" to stand against the CPM government in Kerala. "No need for Amit Shah to come down at Pinarayi to stand against CPM. (sic)"
— BJP KERALAM (@BJP4Keralam) October 5, 2017
On Wednesday, it was reported that Shah had cut short his visit to Kerala and Karantaka after having to leave for New Delhi.
Shah was supposed to address an 'intellectual meet' and hold a preliminary meeting about the organisation of the Parivarthana rally in Bengaluru on 2 November, according to The Hindu. However, these programmes had to be postponed indefinitely due to "unavoidable reasons", Sanjeeva Matandoor, president, Dakshina Kannada unit of the party told the press on Tuesday.
The yatra was postponed earlier on 29 August because it would have been 'inconvenient' for Shah to attend, according to the party. A party release had said "the yatra to be led by state BJP chief Kummanom Rajasekharan, which was scheduled to commence on 7 September, has been postponed to October."
However, a report in the Deccan Herald had said that the visit was postponed as the RSS believed that the state BJP leaders are not committed to strengthening the party. The postponement had caught the party's Kerala leadership off-guard.
The Janaraksha Yatra on Wednesday was led by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Adityanath said that Kerala had been witnessing political violence sponsored by the ruling CPM. "It is in the nature of the Left party to grab power at gunpoint," he said. He also hailed BJP's campaign against "Jihadi-Red terror" for drawing big crowds, reported NDTV. "There is no scope for violence in a democracy, but, unfortunately, Kerala has been witnessing politically-sponsored violence. With this yatra, we will make people aware about the CPM's misrule," he added.
Adityanath also raked up the issue of 'love jihad' and said that it was a "dangerous trend" being inadequately dealt with by the CPM government. "Love jihad is a dangerous trend. The Supreme Court has already passed an order on it and the NIA is investigating it," News18 quoted the chief minister as saying.
He added that the BJP would not allow Kerala to become a land of 'lal salaam', a term used by communist party members for greeting each other.
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Updated Date: Oct 05, 2017 16:17:42 IST