BJP to kick-start campaign for change in UP, to cover all 403 assembly segments | india-news | Hindustan Times
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BJP to kick-start campaign for change in UP, to cover all 403 assembly segments

With GPRS-studded chariots, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set for its first-ever hi-tech ‘Parivartan Rath Yatras’, which would cover all 403 assembly constituencies in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The focus of the yatras, however, would primarily be on 300-odd rural or semi-rural constituencies.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2016 22:04 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) president Amit Shah (C) gestures as he addresses a function in Amritsar on November 1.
Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) president Amit Shah (C) gestures as he addresses a function in Amritsar on November 1.(AFP)

With GPRS-studded chariots, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set for its first-ever hi-tech ‘Parivartan Rath Yatras’, which would cover all 403 assembly constituencies in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. The focus of the yatras, however, would primarily be on 300-odd rural or semi-rural constituencies.

The BJP yatras would begin two days after UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav launches his ‘Vikas Yatra’ on Thursday.

After being flagged off from Saharanpur (November 5), Jhansi (November 6), Sonbhadra (November 8) and Ballia (November 9), the four convertible motorised chariots would move across largely rural terrain to help the party connect primarily with the poor, Dalit and OBC population who make up over 70% of UP’s electorate.

All the four yatras would conclude in Lucknow on December 24 with a rally likely to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state capital that day.

Sources said the BJP was expected to declare its first list of candidates after the yatras concluded, ostensibly to keep all the ‘ticket seekers’ and their supporters engaged during the yatras. Throughout the route, the BJP cadre would be distributing pamphlets on why a change is required, alongside showcasing the achievements of the Narendra Modi government.

“The yatra would be used to raise local issues of relevance,” said BJP national secretary Mahendra Singh, who is the convener of all the four yatras, a key assignment that came his way after his involvement in the party’s success in Assam where he was the party in-charge.

A dedicated social media team, travelling along with all the four yatras, would ensure that the yatras are prominently showcased on Twitter and Facebook.

The BJP call centre would also be active, helping cadre and masses keep abreast with the movement of the yatra and the changes that are made on the way.

The social media team, sources said, was likely to counter anti-BJP propaganda by political opponents. “It’s a yatra that would seek to help the BJP sound the victory bugle by mobilising public opinion against the SP and the BSP,” says Singh.

The first BJP yatra would set out from Saharanpur after being flagged off by BJP chief Amit Shah. Union minister Kalraj Mishra, along with other leaders, would cover 20 districts, criss-crossing through the highly polarized western UP, including the areas of Shamli, Baghpat and Kairana from where BJP had reported the alleged exodus of Hindus.

This yatra would also pass through Rampur, the constituency of Samajwadi Party’s most visible Muslim face, Azam Khan. While Union home minister Rajnath Singh wouldn’t be present for the launch of the first yatra due to a prior official commitments, he would be there along with Shah and Mishra for the launch of the remaining three yatras.

The second yatra, after being flagged off from Jhansi, would cover parts of Bundelkhand and the Samajwadi Party bastions of Mainpuri, Etawah, Aligarh and Badaun. The third yatra would set out from Sonbhadra to cover the large parts of Purvanchal in east UP besides Congress bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli.

The fourth yatra, after being flagged off from Ballia, would cover Azamgarh, Mau, Kushinagar, Gonda and Basti, among other places.

“All the 403 constituencies would be covered,” says Singh.