BJP to lean on rath yatra weapon to mobilise TS voters
Deccan Chronicle.| Balu Pulipaka
BJP state president, MP Bandi Sanjay. (Photo: Twitter/@bandisanjay_bjp)
HYDERABAD: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which set the pace for padayatras in Telangana state with the party’s state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar leading the Praja Sangrama Yatra through various districts, appears set to upscale its efforts to reach out to more people in the months to come. On the party cards are plans for rath yatras, a move that had in the past paid rich dividends for the party, starting with what then BJP stalwart leader L.K. Advani did in support of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Currently, the state BJP, after successfully holding some 11,000-odd street corner meetings in February, is grappling with its efforts to strengthen itself at the polling booth level with its ‘Booth Sashaktikaran Abhiyan’.
This exercise, which was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of March, has been extended till April 10. The party’s plan, according to BJP leaders, is to ensure Sanjay will tour the state extensively after the completion of this exercise, but this phase of his tour is expected to be undertaken in a bus, since the time is running short as the state Assembly elections are likely to be held sometime around November.
The rath yatras are expected to get going after Sanjay completes his state tour covering all Assembly constituencies, particularly those his Praja Sangrama Yatra did not cover in its five phases so far. The rath yatras are being planned for each of the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies, "and plan is to have multiple raths with them — accompanied by state and some national BJP leaders — covering all 119 Assembly constituencies," a party leader said on Wednesday.
The BJP is hoping that amidst the crisscrossing of the state by leaders from the Congress and the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi leaders set to follow suit, the rath yatras will fire up support for the BJP, just as Advani’s rath yatras resulted in drumming up support for the party in the past.