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Yogi Adityanath to be star campaigner in Modi's poll-bound Gujarat

The Yatra is being organised for the first time in Gujarat after 2002, the year the state was rocked with communal riots

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister will be the star campaigner in the ongoing 'Gaurav Yatra' in poll bound Gujarat, the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Yogi would take part in the Yatra on October 12 and 13, seeking to consolidate the core vote bank of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with his strong Hindutva image, oratory skills and mystique persona. 

The Yatra is being organised for the first time in after 2002, the year the state was rocked with communal riots. During intermediate time (2002-14), Modi was at the helm as CM. However, post his elevation to and finally taking over as the PM in May 2014, the has been struggling to keep its traditional voter bank united. 

A section of the powerful Patel community, apart from Other Backward Castes (OBC) and dalits, who had largely been aligning with BJP, have been expressing disenchantment with the party leadership and its chief ministers, who have fared poorly both with governance and keeping their flock together. 

Since poll is due by year end, is confident that Yogi would help consolidate voters as was the case during 2017 UP poll, when he had participated in four ‘Parivartan Yatras’ in the state and fetched good electoral results.

The party is attempting to kindle the feeling of Gujarati pride among the state voters with ‘Gaurav Yatra’, which is scheduled to traverse about 3,800 km across 150 odd assembly constituencies in North and South in two phases.

On October 1, the first phase of ‘Gaurav Yatra’ was flagged off by chief Amit Shah at Karamsad, the birthplace of India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, whom has already appropriated as its inspiration and pantheon, much to the chagrin of Congress.

On the culmination of the Yatra on October 15, Modi and Shah would also be present.

Meanwhile, the partaking of Yogi in the pre-poll campaign also indicates the growing stature of Yogi in and in the eyes of mandarins and strategists.

Recently, Yogi had taken part in BJP’s public engagements in the Left stronghold of Kerala, where the saffron party has upped the ante to emerge as a force to reckon with. Yogi had not only mounted scathing attack on the Kerala government, but his visit and jibes had prompted the Kerala government to counter attack him for his alleged failings in governing UP.

First Published: Wed, October 11 2017. 13:49 IST
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