Vasundhara Raje puts finishing touches on 40-day Suraj Gaurav Yatra

Vasundhara Raje puts finishing touches on 40-day Suraj Gaurav Yatra

JAIPUR: Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje is busy fine-tuning her ambitious 40-day long Suraj Gaurav Yatra, scheduled from August 4 – just four days ahead of the 76th anniversary of the Quit India movement, the Congress had launched in 1942.
Raje’s yatra, to be flagged off by the BJP chief Amit Shah, seems to be a feeble reminder of Ashok Gehlot’s Sandesh Yatra.

Like Raje, the former Rajasthan chief minister from Congress had also taken a Yatra in the election year of his rule in 2013 covering all the 33 districts. Similar to Raje’s proposed Yatra, Gehlot’s Sandesh Yatra was also aimed at countering anti-incumbency by highlighting good governance and welfare schemes among public ahead of polls. However, Gehlot failed to convince public and Congress lost miserably in the elections, managing to win mere 21 seats in a 200-seat assembly.


This is not for the first time Raje is embarking on a yatra-campaign. In 2003, when Raje was introduced as the chief ministerial candidate for the first time, she stormed into the mindspace of voters through Parivartan Yatra, becoming the first woman chief minister of the state. In 2013 also, when BJP turned the table on incumbent Gehlot government, Raje had taken out Suraj Sanklap Yatra – covering all the 33 districts spread across more than 13,000 kilometres.

“Raje had embarked on previous yatras as the challenger. For the first time, she would be ‘riding the wave’ as an incumbent. Gehlot, despite all the good work, failed to impress public through his Sandesh yatra. There is a pertinent risk for Raje as well,” said Lokesh Sharma, a Congress leader.

The common factor, however, between these three BJP poll yatras other than Vasundhara Raje is the venue from where the yatra is kicked off. The Charbhuja Mandir in Rajasamand, 350 kms from Jaipur, has been lucky for Raje on both the previous occasions.

“The yatra will be launched with a public meeting of 2 lakh people. Later on, the party is planning to have gatherings of 25,000 people at all the assembly segments covered during this yatra,” said a party leader. BJP chief Madan Lal Saini said that the yatra would be organised and funded by the party.

“It’s a complete party affair. No government machinery would be misused. The yatra, starting from Udaipur division, would culminate on September 30 at Ajmer.

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