The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would start its much-hyped anti-drug drive in Punjab from Amritsar on January 22. The party’s yatra would cover the state in three phases, with its culmination likely to take place on the occasion of Baisakhi on April 14.
As per the plan prepared by the office of BJP chief Amit Shah after holding meetings with state party leaders, Shah would inaugurate the yatra in Amritsar. The first phase is likely to end at Madhopur (Pathankot) or in Anandpur Sahib.
The party’s Lok Sabha MP from Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh) and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) chief Anurag Thakur would coordinate between the central high command and the state leadership during the drive. He has already conducted a meeting in this regard with the state leadership.
Sources said the yatra would focus on covering most of the rural areas of Punjab, a move aimed at gaining a foothold in villages.
In the second phase, scheduled to start by February-end, the drive would cover at least six parliamentary segments in its 20-day programme.
The rest of Punjab would be covered in the third phase that would start on the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh on March 23.
The party is yet to finalise the venue for its mega rally that would mark the end of the drive. It is likely to be attended by the party’s national leadership.
On the sidelines of the yatra, the BJP would continue its membership drive. The party claims to have made around 8 lakh members in Punjab till date.
When contacted, state BJP chief Kamal Sharma declined to give the details but said Shah’s visit to launch the drive had been finalised.
“Not much can be disclosed now as the party would officially declare the yatra programme in the coming days,” said Sharma.
Sources said the party was closely monitoring developments related to ally Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD’s) controversial move to hold dharnas along the international border against drug smuggling.
The BJP’s state leadership had on Wednesday stated that its planned anti-drug rallies in Punjab would not take place. The move had come a day after the SAD did a U-turn on its plan to hold ‘anti-BSF’ dharnas on drug inflow from across the border.