In an attempt to revive its political prospects in West Bengal, Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to come out with a rath yatra in the state. The 15-day “Nava Jagaran” yatra will kick off on January 30 at Coochbehar in North Bengal and culminate at Kolkata on February 15. A number of Central leaders of the party will address gatherings at various places during the yatra.
While former BJP president Rajnath Singh will flag off the yatra at Coochbehar, Lal Krishna Advani will be present at the rally in Kolkata.
Announcing the programme, Ranhul Sinha, the party’s West Bengal unit chief and Chandan Mitra Rajya Sabya MP said the yatra will cover Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Farraka, Krishnagar, Bongaon, Basirhat and Deganga. The yatra will also cover Singur areas of East and West Midnapur and Howrah.
According to senior party leaders, BJP leader in Lok Sabha Susma Swaraj, Shahnawaj Hussain, Hema Malini, Murli Manohar Joshi and Smirti Irani will take part in the rally. The BJP leaders are also planning to bring chief ministers like Narendra Modi and Arjun Munda during to attend the rally.
“The party will raise the issue of corruption, 2G scam, price hike and politics of dead in West Bengal by the two main political parties. We will also object to the reservation on the basis of religion in the state,” said Mitra who is party observer in Bengal
Recently party youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) had flagged off Rashtriya Ekta Yatra from Shyambazar. The two yatras having presence of so many Central leaders suggest the party is serious about the state. “We need to work at the booth level to reap the benefits of the Yatra,” said Tapan Sikdar, BJP leader and former MP from the state.
At present the party has no participation in state Assembly. The vote share of the party in the last Assembly polls was 6.1 percent. The last time the party had a representation in Assembly was in 2001.
According to senior leaders, the party has identified about 20 seats and have started working at booth level in those seats in the state. “We know percentage of votes is not enough but we need to convert it into assembly seats,” said Mitra at the sidelines of the programme.