The posters of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is facing charges of corruption, were conspicuously missing during the Mangalore leg of Jan Chetana Yatra of BJP leader L.K. Advani on Monday. Unlike in Bangalore, no posters with the image of Mr. Yeddyurappa, had been put up at the venue or elsewhere in the city.
Despite Mr. Advani being the centre of attraction, people had to wait for a long time to hear him as a host of leaders, including BJP State unit president K.S. Eshwarappa, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and national general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar spoke ahead of the veteran. There was rendition of a song by a BJP party activist. Just as Mr. Advani began his speech, spectators began to leave the venue and join the queue at the food counter. The BJP had arranged for “ganjee” (rice porridge) “chatnee” and pickles at the stall. Mr. Sadananda Gowda, Mr. Ananth Kumar and Mr. Eshwarappa landed at the Mangalore airport around 10 a.m. to receive Mr. Advani. Mr. Advani reached Mangalore on a special flight at 11.20 a.m. along with his daughter Prathiba Advani and other party leaders, including Ravishankar Prasad. He came out of the airport and got into the waiting “Jan Chetana Yatra” bus.
A large number of vehicles followed the bus. This held up the traffic at several places, more so at the Nanthoor Junction where the vehicles were found moving bumper-to-bumper on the National Highway 66.
When reporters asked for his quick comment, Mr. Prasad said: “It's only Rath Yatra no quick comments” and boarded the waiting bus.
In Udupi the public meeting started at 4 p.m., an hour behind schedule.
Mr. Advani said that he had started to like “idli” when he was imprisoned for 19 months in Bangalore during the emergency (1975-77). “Ramakrishna Hegde's wife Shakuntala Hegde used to send “idlis” to the prison,” he recalled.