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Wary BJP seeks to re-connect with grassroots workers, leaders to tour districts over next 10 days

The leaders will meet party office-bearers and workers and try to find solutions to problems.

jaipur Updated: Mar 21, 2018 21:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,Vikas Yatra
CM Vasundhara Raje will launch the state-wide Vikas Yatra in April.(HT File Photo)

Amid demands for a change in state leadership that became more vocal after party’s defeat in the recent bypolls and ahead of the assembly election due later this year, the ruling BJP in Rajasthan is now looking to revitalise itself with a direct connect with grassroots workers.

The party has now drawn plans for senior leaders to tour different districts over next 10 days to take stock of problems plaguing the state. BJP state media chief Anand Sharma said a total of 29 senior leaders, including ministers, will be making the tours till the end of March with state unit chief Ashok Parnami launching the venture with his three-day visit from Bikaner on Thursday.

During their stay, the leaders will meet party office-bearers and workers and try to find solutions for major projects stuck due to any reason and also take feedback on the functioning of the government. “The aim is to solve problems, take feedback from party office-bearers and workers and also instil enthusiasm in some of them who have become lethargic,” Parnami said.

IANS quoted BJP national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna as saying that the major mission under this plan will be to work on booth management, and make people aware about the “ambitious schemes” launched by the state government.

Khanna, who will be touring Jaipur and other rural areas next week, denied that the workers are demotivated at any level. “We are a party of hardworking members. We were happy when we had two seats and we are happy when we have 300 seats,” he added.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje will also launch a Vikas Yatra on April 15 to cover all 200 assembly constituencies.

“The CM’s yatra will kick off from tribal-dominated Udaipur division to highlight BJP government’s achievements in the state. Local MLAs, MPs and minister-in-charge of the districts will accompany the CM during her tour that would culminate in July,” state minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar said.

This would be Raje’s third yatra since 2003 when she first took over BJP’s reins in the state. She had earlier undertaken Parivartan Yatra and Suraj Sankal Yatra.

A core group of BJP leaders who had analysed the party’s poor performance in the byelections had cited unfavourable caste equations, rural distress and some decisions outside state’s control such as GST for the by-elections defeat.

While the party lost the Ajmer and Alwar parliamentary seats and Mandalgarh assembly seats in the bypolls, a party member from Kota wrote to party chief Amit Shah requesting him to change the state leadership - a demand also expressed by legislator Gyan Dev Ahuja. Then in Jhunjhunu, a section of crowd displayed black flags to Raje in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, the Congress, enthused after its bypoll wins and confident of regaining power in the state, dismissed the BJP’s measure.

State Congress vice-president Archana Sharma said the BJP leaders’ tours will not help the party which has already lost its trust among the unemployed, women, farmers and youth. “No matter what it tries, it will not attain success as it is like a dried crop which can’t be brought back to life.”

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 21:58 IST