Advani says party had cautioned Yeddyurappa

Under fire from the Congress over B.S. Yeddyurappa's arrest, BJP leader L.K. Advani today admitted that 'small mistakes' were embarrassing the party leadership which had cautioned the former Karnataka Chief Minister on the developments.

"The party had cautioned Yeddi on the developments," Advani told reporters here replying to a volley of questions on the arrest of Yeddyurappa on graft charges.

"Small mistakes by others was embarrassing the party leadership. There may be chances of a slip up so I am telling every one in the party to remain vigilant," he said without directly naming the ex-CM for his alleged involvement in the mining scam.

On black money and steps taken by the BJP-led NDA government in the past to bring it back, Advani said the laws were stringent at that time and banks in Switzerland were not parting with any information.

He said it was only after serious economic crisis that European countries particularly Germany sought the list of black money depositors and subsequently obtained it. It contained about 2000 names of which 500 belonged to Germany, he said.

Accusing the UPA government on the issue, Advani said the German government that time expressed its willingness to share it with those countries approaching it.

"The Indian Government did approach it and secure the list but that was neither made public nor efforts made to bring back the black money stashed there," Advani said.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did promise to me when I wrote to him that government will seriously pursue the black money issue and even assured Parliament that the UPA government will make efforts to bring back black money within 100 days of coming to power. It is now almost 700 days and the UPA government has not done anything, Advani said.

"According to reports, about Rs 2.5 lakh crore was deposited with Swiss banks and I have a feeling that by this time the depositors must have withdrawn the money," he said.

Asked whether he missed the presence of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, Advani said his first 'rath yatra' was Mahajan's idea which he initially felt was 'too theatrical'.

Advani said that he had planned to walk from Somnath to Ayodhya to highlight the Ram temple issue. "Pramod had a major role to play in the first rath yatra. It was his idea. When I was planning a walk from Somanth to Ayodhya, he asked me how much time I wanted for my yatra.

I told him that I had planned a month for it," he recalled. Advani said that it was Pramod who suggested that he take a vehicle as he would be able to cover more states. Advani said that he then thought that he would travel in a jeep.

"Pramod said that you are talking of a jeep but my suggestion is that we get a 'rath' built, which you leave it to me". The senior BJP leader said his first reaction was that it is "too theatrical and does not fit in with my nature". However, Mahajan managed to persuade him.

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