Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s ‘Jan Ashirvad Yatra’ to cover 200 seats, counter Congress’ plan

BHOPAL: This election season, it’s raining promises in Madhya Pradesh again with both Congress and BJP trying to woo voters in their bid to clinch the power. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also gearing up for his `Jan Ashirvad Yatra’ probably in the month of July, in an effort to get re-elected.
The announcement of yatra by the BJP’s state election management committee, on Saturday coincides with Digvijaya Singh’s Ekta Yatra, which will project Chouhan as the party’s main face in the multi-starrer poll campaign.
Sources disclosed that this is also an indication by the party high-command that Chouhan would again lead the BJP’s poll campaign despite multiple anti-incumbency factors emerged during party’s three-term regime. This would be though, contrary to the party claims that elections would be contested keeping the organisation strengths in focus and welfare done by the MP and NDA government for the public.
During his Bhopal visit on May 4, BJP president Amit Shah while addressing the party workers had also exhorted to keep the organisation as the main strength and the teachings of the founder members Kushabhau Thakre and Vijayaraje Scindia as the motto.
“We will win the next election on the strengths of the organisation. Works done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should be taken to the voters by the party workers,” Shah had said.
Sources said that Chouhan’s `Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ would cover more than 200 assembly constituencies and travel more than 8,000 km across the state for which a specially designed `high-tech chariot’ is being prepared in Pune. The yatra would focus those areas where chief minister had not reached in the recent past. The yatra is also seen as a prelude to the ‘Karyakarta Mahakumbh’, the gala gathering of BJP workers, scheduled to be held on September 25.

“We have no date and schedule for the Jan Ashirvad Yatra but, chief minister Chouhan will tour the entire state like he toured during 2013 to make a direct connect with the voters. Details of the plan will be disclosed after final discussions in the state election committee”, said Yatra convener and Rajya Sabha member, Prabhat Jha.

Before the 2008 assembly elections, Chouhan had embarked on a similar yatra which was flagged off in the presence of many BJP leaders including his mentor LK Advani. This time party president Amit Shah is likely to be present.
The yatra coincides with Digvijaya Singh’s `Ekta Yatra’ who is trying to spread unity among Congress workers and various factions led by regional leaders. BJP said that as Digvijaya’s yatra is gaining momentum, it would be difficult for the saffron party to contain various sections of the society including farmers, dalits, tribals and several caste-based social groups who were committed vote bank of the BJP.
“Chief minister’s `Jan Ashirvad Yatra’ will expose BJP of its fake promises and tall claims which the party had failed to fulfill during last 15 years. This will help Congress”, said Congress state general secretary (administration), Rajiv Singh.