AAP in Haryana banks on ‘gangajal’ and ‘yatra’ to garner public support
Led by Haryana AAP unit chief Naveen Jaihind, a battery of volunteers of the party started a ‘Bhaichara Kanwar Yatra’ on August 1 from Haridwar after taking a holy dip in the Ganges.india Updated: Aug 04, 2018 11:14 IST
Anxious to get toehold on the political chessboard of Haryana, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has opted to make inroads into the hearts of Haryanvis by distributing the ‘pious gangajal’ that the leaders of the rookie party have brought from Haridwar.
Led by Haryana AAP unit chief Naveen Jaihind, a battery of volunteers of the party started a ‘Bhaichara Kanwar Yatra’ on August 1 from Haridwar after taking a holy dip in the Ganges. The party activists on foot along with Jaihind reached Panchkula on Thursday.
This yatra will now pass through Ambala and Kaithal before concluding in Rohtak. During this yatra, the activists will offer ‘gangajal’, which they have brought in huge quantity, to people as well as politicians.
“The objective of holding this yatra on foot is to remind the ruling BJP government to ensure bhaichara (brotherhood) in Haryana. People from different castes and religions are participating in this yatra,” Jaihind said, showing the ‘gangajal’ bottles.
The party has also planned to offer ‘gangajal’ to chief minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar, finance minister Captain Abhimanyu, education minister Ram Bilas Sharma, agriculture minister Om Prakash Dhankar and health minister Anil Vij. “This way, we want to remind the CM and his ministers of their unfulfilled poll promises.”
The AAP will also distribute the Ganga water among leaders and MLAs of the Congress and the principal opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in order to what Jaihind said “help these leaders become pious and wise” so that they work for the welfare of the state without “disturbing brotherhood”.
Also on the AAP radar are Jat leader Yashpal Malik and BJP’s Kurukshetra MP Raj Kumar Saini, who will be among the receivers of the ‘gangajal’ by AAP.
Though the Haryana assembly elections are over a year away (if held when due in October 2019), it is already a season of political yatras in Haryana. The Congress strongman and former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda has launched ‘Jan Kranti Yatra’ to dislodge Ashok Tanwar as Haryana Congress chief. In turn, Tanwar has been criss-crossing the state through a cycle yatra.
Sensing the public mood, CM Khattar too has launched a plethora of programmes to reach out to people and establish a direct connect to contain the anger.
In this backdrop, the ‘bhaichara yatra’ of the AAP is generating curiosity in the state.
“Hooda and Tanwar have been holding yatras to become CM and Khattar is holding raahgiri to save his CM’s chair. Our objective is to restore brotherhood among Haryanvis with this gesture,” Jaihind said.
AAP’s political battle in Haryana ahead of the polls is going to be more arduous than its current spell of ‘padyatra’ (journey on foot). Instead of banking on ‘gangajal’ to gain legitimacy, the party will have to unveil a good governance agenda to remain in the reckoning.
First Published: Aug 04, 2018 11:11 IST