Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
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 Gujarat
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 national politics
and finally taking over as the PM in May 2014, the BJP
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.
poll is due by year end, BJP
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 Gujarat
in two phases.
On October 1, the first phase of ‘Gaurav Yatra’ was flagged off by BJP
chief Amit Shah at Karamsad, the birthplace of India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, whom BJP
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 Gujarat
pre-poll campaign also indicates the growing stature of Yogi in national politics
and in the eyes of BJP
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.