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Delhi brake on Modi yatra

New Delhi, Sept. 25: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has deferred the fourth leg of his Gaurav Yatra following a directive from central BJP leaders.

Sources said the party top brass felt the march, which has been marred by Modi’s anti-minority statements, might lead to fresh trouble after yesterday’s attack on the Swaminarayan temple.

BJP sources said Modi has been told to put the yatra on hold for at least 10 days till the situation eases. The party has convened an emergency meeting of central office-bearers in Gurgaon tomorrow to take stock of the situation. Sources said party chief M. Venkaiah Naidu and deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani will attend the meeting, which would discuss whether to allow Modi to go ahead with the yatra.

For the record, however, the BJP maintained there was “no connection” between the yatra and the attack and the decision on the march “would be taken by the state unit”.

“The … meeting is being held to take stock of the situation arising out of the terrorist attack on the temple and we would also chalk out the future course of action,” Naidu told reporters at Gurgaon.

where he inaugurated the Gaon chalo abhiyan as part of the exercise to rejuvenate the cadre. Naidu has cancelled the Uttaranchal and Punjab leg of his programme and is returning to Delhi day after tomorrow.

The BJP said protests against the temple attack should ensure that no fresh tension is created. “We would request parties or organisations holding protests against the terrorist attack on the temple to ensure that no tension is created and that untoward incidents do not occur,” spokesman Arun Jaitley said.

Asked whether the attack would affect the Assembly elections, scheduled for November or December, he said: “I don’t see any impact of this incident on the election process in the state.”

The former Union law minister said it was a testing time for all, but the need of the hour was unity, calm and peace. “Let the determination and will of the Indian people expressed through this democracy repel the provocation of the terrorists and let the security forces rein them in as they have continued to do,” he asserted.

File: 26yatra

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