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Jan Ashirwad Yatra: All you need to know about BJP's outreach programme

The Jan Ashirwad Yatra would cover 210 of the 230 assembly segments, across over 10,500 km, and marked by 212 big public meetings and 678 smaller ones

Jan Ashirwad yatra

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh will launch its pre-election public outreach programme, the Jan Ashirwad Yatra, on September 3. Unlike its avatars prior to the 2018 and 2013 assembly elections, the yatra this time would be launched almost simultaneously from five different locations in the state and would not focus solely on Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

All the yatras would culminate in Bhopal on September 25, corresponding with the birth anniversary of stalwart Deendayal Upadhyay. The convergence would mark a 'karyakarta mahakumbh' to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

What does the BJP want to achieve with the Jan Ashirwad Yatra?

The Jan Ashirwad Yatra is a mass contact programme in which the party informs the electorate about the development work done by its government. 

Another important goal is to galvanise BJP workers for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh elections slated later this year. The BJP hopes to get one million workers, representing all the 6,523 polling booths in the state, to Bhopal for the culmination function.

On previous occasions, the yatra was a solo effort of Shivraj Chouhan. However, this time, five yatras would be held, one each to be flagged off from the Vindhya, Malwa, Nimar, Mahakoshal and Gwalior regions. 

The yatra in the Vindhya region has Satna MP Ganesh Singh as in-charge. The Mahakoshal yatra is being overseen by Hoshangabad MP Rao Uday Pratap Singh, the Malwa leg by Indore MP Shankar Lalwani, the Ujjain leg by BJP Kisan Morcha vice-president Bansilal and the Gwalior yatra by former MLA Ranveer Jatav. 

While the Vindhya Yatra is to be flagged off by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the other yatras will be flagged off by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The yatras would cover 210 of the 230 assembly segments across over 10,500 km, and marked by 212 big public meetings and 678 smaller ones, reported India Today.

A party functionary also said the BJP intends to carpet-bomb the state with public meetings of its leaders and capture the mindspace of the people.

When questioned if the decision to broadbase the yatra this time was motivated by anti-incumbency against CM Chouhan, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the yatra would cover more seats in 18 days as against 92 days earlier and marked the party's faith in collective leadership. 

"CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan would be present for half a day every day in one yatra. There is no question of him not being around," said Tomar. 

However, on being asked if Chouhan was not the BJP's chief ministerial face, Tomar stated that the party believed in collective leadership and would decide on the issue at an appropriate time.

Earlier, Amit Shah had also sidestepped the question of Shivraj Singh Chouhan continuing as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in the event of the party winning in the Assembly polls due later this year.

Responding to back-to-back queries on the clarity of future leadership in the state, Shah said that Chouhan was the CM and the party would collectively decide on the issue.

"Shivraj Ji remains the chief Minister now and the party is in election [mode]. Party will do its job. My request to you all [journalists] is take whatever has happened under the leadership of [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi Ji and Shivraj Ji to the people so that the development agenda is set for the election," he said, speaking of the upcoming elections and Chouhan, who has been at the helm for more than a decade and a half.

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First Published: Aug 30 2023 | 7:08 PM IST

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