Seeking to give a boost to its campaign for the Assembly polls round the corner in Karnataka, the BJP on Wednesday will launch its ‘Vijay Sankapla Yatre’ from four different directions across the state, in specially designed vehicles or ”Rathas” with the party’s central leaders set to give it a headstart.
BJP national president J P Nadda will kick-start the ‘yatre’ from Male Mahadeshwara Hills in Chamarajanagar district.
While Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to flag off another Yatre on March 2 from Nandagad in Belagavi district, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is slated to launch the third and fourth yatras that will start from Basavakalyana in Bidar district and Avathy in Devanahalli near Bengaluru, on March 3, in the morning and afternoon, respectively.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, former Chief Minister and BJP’s Parliamentary board member B S Yediyurappa, party’s state President Nalin Kumar Kateel, and national General Secretary C T Ravi are among those expected to take part in the launch of the yatras.
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Speaking to reporters in Hubballi on Tuesday, Bommai said, ”PM Modi, Amit Shah and Nadda have been visiting the state already. Union Ministers Dharmandra Pradhan and Mansukh Mandaviya, who are poll in-charges too have visited. Many other important leaders too will visit the state for campaigning.” The Ratha Yatras that will begin on March 1, 2 and 3 will cover all the Assembly constituencies, he said, adding that ”during this yatre too many party leaders will be visiting the state.” According to party leaders, more than 50 state and national leaders will take part in this campaign, which will cover all 31 districts and 224 constituencies of the state, where elections are due by May.
The tours will cover 8,000 km, along which the party has planned over 80 rallies, 74 public meetings and about 150 road shows, they said, adding that it is expected to ”touch” about four crore people.
The 20 days ‘yatre’ will culminate with a mega rally in the district headquarters town of Davangere on March 25 which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The yatre that will begin from four different places will consist of 10-12 leaders in each of them.
All the four places of historical or religious importance seem to have been chosen for the start of yatras — Basavakalyana is a holy place for the Lingayats, while Nandgad (where memorial of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna is located) and Avathy (birthplace of NadaPrabhu Kempegowda) are reportedly picked with an eye on Kuruba and Vokkaliga communities.
The Male Mahadeshwara Hills, where Nadda will kickstart the Yatre tomorrow is a religious place, which is of importance to SC/ST communities.
The specially designed four ”Rathas” are buses, 30-ft in height and eight-ft in width. They have a place on the top where the leaders can stand and deliver speeches. They also have facilities to charge mobiles, home theatre, audio systems, cameras, LED display and a generator for power backup, among others.