Bhopal/New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani's anti-graft roadshow, the Jan Chetna Yatra, has run smack into charges of cash inducements after it reachedMadhya Pradesh, ruled by the party's government, Thursday.
The state Congress unit accused the ruling BJP of giving cash to journalists ahead of the yatra, at a briefing called by the Satna district unit of the party.
'The party which is making hue and cry over black money is itself using black money for Advani's yatra,' state Congress president Kantilal Bhuria told IANS.
The All India Congress Committee (AICC) also condemned the alleged attempt to bribe journalists and said it only proved its assertion that the yatra was not against corruption.
'The attempt to bribe journalists in Satna is very unfortunate, condemnable and troubling. We have always maintained that the yatra was not against corruption. Whenever Advani has taken out a yatra, there has been a hidden agenda,' party spokesman Raashid Alvi said in Delhi.
At least two dozens Congress workers, comprising both women and men, were arrested Friday by the local police when they sought to show black flags to Advani's yatra in Satna.
'There is no meaning to such a yatra in Madhya Pradesh when several ministers of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet are embroiled in corruption charges,' Madhya Pradesh's Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh alleged.
Satna MP Ganesh Singh of the BJP, who along with PWD Minister Nagendra Singh was present at the media briefing, denied that cash was distributed to newsmen by the party.
'Neither has it been a policy of the party nor was (cash) distributed by us,' Singh said. 'But we will sure inquire.'
Advani told reporters that the president of his party unit in Madhya Pradesh, Prabhat Jha, will investigate whether bribes were offered in exchange for coverage in Satna.
Advani's yatra reached Madhya Pradesh late Thursday evening and will remain in the state till Oct 16. During these four days, his yatra will cover 45 assembly constituencies and travel approximately 1,100 km.