Raje launches third yatra from Charbhuja. Will she be third time lucky?
In 2003, she began her Parivartan Yatra from Charbhuja and won 120 seats in the ensuing assembly election. In 2013, amid a strong Modi wave, Raje kicked off her Suraj Sankalp Yatra once again from Charbhuja and the BJP won an unprecedented 163 of 200 assembly seatsrajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Aug 04, 2018 22:37 IST
For chief minister Vasundhara Raje, the Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra might well be a make or break thing.
BJP national president Amit Shah on Saturday kicked off the Yatra from Charbhuja temple in Rajsamand district. Raje is hoping that the Yatra will prove third time lucky for her.
She has twice earlier chosen the same temple as the launch pad to propel her to power in Rajasthan.
In 2003, she began her Parivartan Yatra from Charbhuja and won 120 seats in the ensuing assembly election. In 2013, amid a strong Modi wave, Raje kicked off her Suraj Sankalp Yatra once again from Charbhuja and the BJP won an unprecedented 163 of 200 assembly seats.
This time, though, things might not be so easy for Raje and the BJP.
Several factors have contributed to the BJP facing a tenuous position this time.
There is a strong anti-incumbency against the Raje government. Despite claims, people say benefits of welfare schemes have not trickled down to them.
At a roadside eatery at Deogarh, 50 km from Rajsamand, Vijay Singh says that in his village Khamlighat, no work has been done. “People in our village support Congress,” he says.
Asked if the government will change, he says, “It should, only then development will happen. Leaders become arrogant if they stay too long in power”.
Outside the venue of Raje’s public meeting in Rajsamand, as thousands of workers make their way into the stadium, a group of people from Kuwaria Berukheda village say they are neither getting benefits of the PM Awas Yojana nor the food grains at subsidised prices.
“We are not able to build houses as we don’t have land deeds. The administration and villagers discriminate against us,” says Mithalal Bagaria.
Mewar is considered a BJP bastion but here too some voices of dissent have arisen. The Mewar Kshatriya Mahasabha said the Rajput community will not vote for Raje over the issue of gangster Anandpal Singh’s encounter and reservation.
But on the ground, many Rajputs say they will go with the BJP as there is no alternative.
Ajaypal Singh in Khedana village, a few kilometres from the public meeting venue, said Rajputs have traditionally voted for BJP and this time too, they will vote for the party. He says 70% Rajputs in Mewar are with the BJP.
Kailash Chaudhary, a local businessman says the Yatra will turn the tide in favour of the BJP.
The Congress, marred by infighting, is unable to cash in on the anti-incumbency, he says.
For the BJP too, the Yatra is significant as it is a stepping stone for the 2019 general elections. The BJP won all 25 Lok Sabha seats in 2013.
The importance reflected in Shah’s speech.
At the launch of the Yatra Shah chose to highlight the central government’s achievements while calling on the people to vote for Raje and prime minister Narendra Modi. “Upar Modiji hain, yahan Vasundhara. Yehi Jodi ki 2018-19 mei jita kar phir se lana hai.”
First Published: Aug 04, 2018 22:36 IST