New Delhi, Oct 12: Stepping into his 85th year of life in a couple of weeks, Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader and former Deputy Prime Minister of India, L K Advani, who was the prime ministerial candidate for BJP in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections has already flagged off his sixth Rath Yatra in the last two decades, and reportedly, it will be his last one, aimed at eradication of corruption and bringing back black money to India.
According to some reports, Advani had admitted to his close family members and the party leaders that this would be his last Rath Yatra, and that he wanted to make it a big one.
He started his spate of Rath Yatras in the year 1990 in support of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, which prompted the fall of VP Singh government at the centre and led to many splits in the then-powerful Janata Dal. The 'Somnath-Ayodhya Ram Rath Yatra', the first Advani Yatra was held for the building of the Ram temple.
The second was Janadesh Yatra in the year 1993, which was undertaken to campaign against the 80th Amendment Bill and the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill of the Constitution.
After a gap of four years, Lal Krishna Advani, initated his third Rath Yatra called 'Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra' but not in protest or any demand, but to celebrate 50th year of India's independence.
Becoming the Prime Minister of the nation was one of the biggest dreams of Advani, and to make it happen, he decided to initiate a Yatra in 2004 prior to the general elections with the slogan 'India Shining', that ended up with UPA shining, and BJP getting wiped clean out from power.
The fifth Yatra was undertaken in the year 2006 to publicise the view that the UPA 1 was not serious in tackling terrorism.
Except for the first Rath Yatra, none of others have created any major impact on the political or social system. Nevertheless, all of them were carried out successfully.
The latest one, the sixth and final Yatra was initiated on Tuesday, October 10 from Bihar, with chief minister Nitish Kumar flagging off the Yatra from great socialist leader the late Jayaprakash Narayan's birthplace, Sitab Diara. Called the 'Jan Chetna Yatra', it will take him through 100 districts in 38 days.
Many political experts feel this could be the last opportunity for Advani to boost his chances and rise as a prime ministerial candidate, with the fall of UPA 2 expected before the next general elections in 2014.
However, Advani himself has rejected this theory and promised the RSS that his Yatra is not about prime ministerial ambitions.
"We want to remove despair and frustration among the common people and create confidence in them about a brighter India," declared Advani while starting the Yatra.
"My campaign will help bring black money to the country from abroad," he asserted.
Targeting the government, he said, "People's faith in democracy and governance is eroding fast due to rampant corruption in the country during the UPA reign."
"I have always received support from my two families - personal family and the ideological family," he said before embarking on the Yatra.
The 38-day long, 12,000-km rally will end on November 17.