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BJP launches outreach to rural poor, Dalits

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The and the ruling BJP today embarked on a massive rural outreach, especially towards and tribals, with the launch of 'gram swaraj abhiyan', which aims to cover thousands of villages with seven key welfare schemes of the Modi dispensation.

visited Bijapur, a tribal district in Chhattisgarh, to launch several government projects, including a wellness centre under the 'Ayushmaan Bharat'. There, he invoked his humble origins while paying tribute to on

paid tributes to the icon at the party's headquarters while hundreds of its MPs, including Union ministers, fanned out across to join people as part of the outreach programme.

Union ministers and were in and Prasad met women rural entrepreneurs from the two backward communities, while Singh joined them in listening to Modi's speech.

was in a Telangana region to launch the 'Ujjwala' scheme.

The 'gram swaraj ahiyan', which will continue till May 5, is being seen as a part of the BJP's massive outreach to the rural poor, especially Dalits, as it gears up for a string of assembly elections leading to the Lok Sabha polls due by next year.

The campaign comes against the backdrop of opposition parties targeting the over its alleged anti-policies.

Modi has asked BJP MPs, including Union ministers, to ensure everyone in villages, where the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes constitute more than 50 per cent of the population, is covered under the schemes, which aims to provide LPG connections, for children, 'Jan Dhan' and for households.

sources said there are 20,844 such villages across but the exercise will not cover and Karnataka, where the Model Code of Conduct is in force in view of panchayat and assembly polls in the two states.

BJP MPs have been asked to spend at least a night in one such village, while Union ministers will spend two nights in different parts of the country during the exercise.

They will highlight the government's works for the poor and farmers.

In an address to party MPs, the had spelled out several programmes with April 18 being observed as 'Swachh Bharat' festival.

April 20, 24 and 28 will be observed as 'Ujjwala Diwas', 'Panchayati Raj Diwas' and 'Gram Shakti Diwas' respectively to highlight various government schemes, he said.

He said he will interact with BJP leaders on April 22 via a video link.

April 30, May 2 and May 5 will be dedicated to highlighting various schemes aimed at benefiting farmers and the poor.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 14 2018. 19:00 IST