The BJP will roll out its ‘Parivartan Yatra’ in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, aiming to cover 87 out of the total 90 assembly constituencies in the poll-bound state to expose the Congress-led government’s alleged corruption and highlight the Centre’s public welfare schemes and policies.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will flag off the yatra after offering prayers at Maa Danteshwari temple in Dantewada (south Chhattisgarh) followed by a public rally there, a party functionary in Raipur said.
The second ‘Parivartan Yatra’ will be flagged off by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J P Nadda in Jashpur (north Chhattisgarh) on September 15, he said. BJP state in-charge Om Mathur, regional general secretary (organisation) for Chhattisgarh Ajay Jamwal and state general secretary (organisation) Pavan Sai on Monday performed a puja of the bus and vehicles, which will be used for the yatra, at the party’s state headquarters Kushabhau Thakre Parisar here, before the vehicles headed for Dantewada.
It is the same high-tech bus used by the BJP for its ‘Vikas Yatra’ in the state ahead of the 2018 assembly elections when the party was in power, a member of the state BJP’s communication wing said.
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The bus is equipped with CCTV cameras, an LED screen, and a hydraulic lift for leaders to address gatherings during the yatra, among other modern amenities, he said.
The bus painted saffron with blue and green stripes at the bottom has pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nadda, state BJP chief Arun Sao, former chief minister Raman Singh, leader of opposition in the state assembly Narayan Chandel and three women leaders – Union Minister Renuka Singh and BJP national vice presidents Saroj Pandey and Lata Usendi. It also has images of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the background and prominently displays the picture of ‘Chhattisgarh Mahtari’ (a revered mother figure traditionally depicted wearing a green-coloured saree and holding a bunch of paddy and sickle in hands) over the map of the state on all four sides.
Talking to reporters, Mathur said the two Parivartan Yatras will be rolled out from Dantewada and Jashpur on September 12 and September 15, respectively, to raise public awareness and expose the ”corruption” of the Congress government.
”We will also apprise people about public welfare schemes of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and hold meetings with beneficiaries of the central schemes,” he said, claiming the yatra will create a new history in Chhattisgarh.
State BJP chief Arun Sao last week said the first yatra will cover a distance of 1,728 km through Bastar, Durg and Raipur divisions in 16 days, while the second yatra will cover 1,261 km in 13 days in Bilaspur and Surguja divisions.
The yatras, which will see 84 public meetings, 85 ”swagat sabhas” (welcome gatherings) and seven road shows, will culminate in Bilaspur on the same day after covering a distance of 2,989 km across 87 assembly segments (out of the total 90), said.
PM Modi is expected to attend the concluding function, he said.
Maoist-affected constituencies of Bijapur, Sukma, and Antagarh are not included in the itinerary, but people belonging to these constituencies will be engaged in the yatra when it passes through the adjoining constituencies, he said.
Senior leaders from the Centre and Chhattisgarh will participate in the yatras, Sao said.
In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress handed a massive defeat to the BJP, which was in power for 15 years under Raman Singh. The Congress won 68 assembly seats and the BJP got 15.
Last month, the BJP released its first list of candidates for 21 seats which it had ceded to the Congress in the last polls.
The Election Commission is yet to announce the schedule of the state assembly elections, due later this year.