Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not allowed to introduce his new cabinet in the monsoon session of Parliament so the party has decided to introduce them to the general public as part of a three-day-long Jan Ashirwaad Yatra starting on August 16 and panning across 19 states.
News18 has accessed details of the elaborate plan under which each of the 43 ministers will land about 300-400 kilometres away from their home constituency and undertake the yatra over the next three days in an open vehicle, passing through three to four Lok Sabha constituencies till their home district. The BJP hence plans to cover about 150 Lok Sabha constituencies and over 15,000 kms, in a bid to also build momentum in the poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
For example, Power Minister R.K. Singh will land in Gaya to make the journey towards his constituency Aarah over three days while Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav will land in Rajasthan to go towards Alwar. The ministers will be staying the night in villages or small towns that fall en route and meet a cross-section of people during the three-day journey. Their schedule includes meeting prominent religious saints, social activists, national and state-level players, families of martyrs, party cadre and paying obeisance at religious sites.
All BJP MPs have also been asked to be in their constituency from August 16 while the Jan Aashirwaad Yatra passes through their area. “Before Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, the history has been that central ministers used to be like fruits on a tree branch – far from the reach of the public. PM Modi wants to break this myth. He wants that every minister of his council is connected to the people and the public also feels a connection with Ministers,” a party directive mentions.
“The recent Cabinet expansion is an example of balance and wide representation. On one hand, 11 woman ministers have found a place in the council of ministers while on the other hand, the maximum number of regions have got representation,” the directive says. A senior party leader said many OBC and backward castes and regions got representation in the Council of Ministers for the first time and it was important to send out a message among the people that one of their own had found a place here.
PM Modi in Parliament had slammed the Opposition and its “mentality”, saying he was not allowed to introduce women, Dalit and scheduled tribe MPs who have been made ministers and added that when he was trying to introduce new union ministers belonging to rural backgrounds and children of the farming community, some opposition party members showed they were not happy. Through the Jan Aashirwaad Yatra, the party will reinforce the message among the public and seek its blessings.
Grand, Attractive and Effective
The party directive says the Yatra must be “grand, attractive and effective and reach the common man” and the ministers be greeted with aplomb when they enter a new district. It has also been mentioned that all Covid-19 protocols be followed, like social distancing and wearing of masks and using sanitisers. The route of the Yatra will be plastered with hoardings highlighting the schemes and development works done by the Modi government and feature big cut-outs of the picture of the prime minister along with the BJPs ‘Lotus’ symbol.
The ministers have been asked to make short and effective speeches at various halts en route to the Yatra and speak about the objectives of the Modi government, speak about various schemes and development projects and local issues. “All new and old party cadre should be involved in the Yatra. There should be a widespread social media campaign,” the party directive says. 19 state chiefs of the Yatra, an Incharge and four co-in charges of each of the 43 Yatras and media in charge of the Yatra will be appointed.
Altogether, 19 states will be covered – Delhi, UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Tripura, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Manipur, Maharashtra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana and Karnataka.
The duties of these states have been divided among National Vice-President M. Chuba Ao, National General Secretary Tarun Chugh and National Secretaries Aravind Menon, Vinod Sonkar, Sunil Deodhar, Satya Kumar and Pankaja Munde.