UP BJP yatras to culminate in Ayodhya on November 17
The anti-corruption yatra led by BJP patriarch LK Advani may skip Ayodhya, but the yatras of senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh will culminate in the town on November 17.delhi Updated: Oct 07, 2011 00:00 IST
The anti-corruption yatra led by BJP patriarch LK Advani may skip Ayodhya, but the yatras of senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh will culminate in the town on November 17.
While Rajnath Singh’s yatra begins on October 13 in Mathura, that of Mishra will be flagged off in Kashi (Varanasi) on the same day. The three towns—Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura—were once central to the BJP’s Hindutva agenda in UP, with the Ram Janmabhumi dispute catapulting it to national prominence in 1990s.
Initially, the party had planned to culminate the two yatras in Lucknow. But the plan was changed as many were interpreting Advani's yatra skipping Ayodhya as distancing from Hindutva, which, the party thought, could alienate committed Hindutva voters.
“Rajnath Singh’s yatra will go through 27 districts and 216 assembly constituencies, trying to reach out to 2.53-crore voters,” said BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. “Kalraj Mishra’s yatra will pass through 27 districts and 172 assembly constituencies in an attempt to reach out to two-crore voters.”
The BJP, however, plans to keep Hindutva limited to symbolism, with corruption and governance being its prime planks in sync with the public mood. It is, in fact, trying a combination of issues, hoping something will work. Thus, images of AB Vajpayee will still occupy pride of place through the yatra, invoking his legacy. Also, Rajnath Singh’s yatra will try to address another burning issue in the state—land acquisition.
Singh’s yatra will also pass through Aligarh—which has Tappal, the village that faced farmers’ protest—and Gautam Buddh Nagar which has Bhatta-Parsaul. This belt of UP has come in the eye of storm over the acquisition of farmers' land.