Madurai : Even as he escaped a possible bomb attack, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Friday kept on with his anti-graft yatra and said the court’s decision on death sentences should not be meddled with, emphasising that his party does not support politically motivated clemency petitions.
The former deputy prime minister, who arrived here, around 450 km from Chennai, Thursday, spoke to reporters prior to commencing the second leg of his anti-corruption yatra Friday morning.
“Whether it is Rajiv Gandhi killers or the parliament attackers, decisions taken by the courts should not be meddled with on political grounds,” Advani said.
When queried about the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Jammu and Kashmir, Advani said: “The approach to terrorism should be consistent and not hesitant and wavering.”
Earlier in the day, a tense situation prevailed with the detection of a pipe bomb under a small bridge in Alampatti near here which Advani’s yatra was scheduled to pass.
Based on information given by locals, the police cordoned off the area and seized the bomb that had a 25 metre wire connected to it. Senior police officials rushed to the spot to carry out investigations and even detained one person for questioning.
Advani’s Jan Chetna Yatra, aimed at fighting black money and corruption, started Oct 11 and will end Nov 20.
Accusing the central government of selectively targeting people involved in scams, Advani said his party was not soft on corruption.
Refused to comment on the links between BJP and Team Anna, Advani said while ministers of allies were being probed for scams, the ruling Congress has protected its own members and has rejected any probe demands against its own ministers.
He said the aim of his yatra was only to demand bringing back of monies stashed away in foreign countries and not to promote himself or his party with an eye on the elections.
He said the government was punishing those who brought out the cash-for-vote scam instead of the perpetrators.
Queried about the possibility of an electoral tie-up with the AIADMK for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he said this will be decided only at election time.
He said any party that aspires to rule the country should take into account the reality of coalition governments.
“For quite sometime to come, it is going to be a coalition government at the national level,” he predicted.
Commenting about nuclear power plants in the wake of protests at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, Advani said the country needed to review its atomic power installations near the ocean and safety of the people should be the priority.
Saying that commercial and contractual obligations were least important, Advani said “safety of the people” was the most important.
On the issue of attacks on Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy, Advani urged the centre to take up the issue with the island nation.
He said the government should look at the attacks as a part of national strategy and evolve measures to deal with such incidents.
Meanwhile, BJP said the bomb scare hadn’t affected the yatra and it was proceeding as planned.
“We heard some reports but we are safe and sound. The yatra is going on… I have heard that some minor adjustment have been made,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, told Times Now channel.