With an eye on winning 65-plus seats in the upcoming assembly polls in Jharkhand and getting the maximum number of votes from Santhal Pargana, once a strong-hold of JMM, BJP will start its “Jan Ashirwad Yatra” from Jamtara on September 18.
BJP heavyweight from Bihar and party’s poll co-in charge in Jharkhand, Nand Kishore Yadav , informed TOI on Friday, “Party national president and Union home minister Amit Shah will launch the yatra from Jamtara.” Yadav added that the yatra will mark the beginning of BJP’s poll campaign in Jharkhand.
He said the yatra was earlier slated to begin on September 15 but was rescheduled due to some internal reasons. Yadav said CM Raghubar Das will share the stage with Shah and other leaders in Jamtara.
Sources said after the launch of the yatra, Das will camp in Santhal Pargana for the next three days. He is scheduled to address public rallies in Nala, Dumka, Pakur, Sahibganj, Maheshpur, Sikaripara, Littipara, Godda and Deoghar.
Brushing aside all speculations, Yadav confirmed that the incumbent chief minister Raghubar Das will be the CM face for the NDA. He said the party would highlight the achievements of the Das government during the yatra. He added that after the creation of Jharkhand in 2000, no government in the state could last for five years and only the Das-led NDA government is on the cusp of completing the full five-year term. Yadav said stability given by the Das government would also be highlighted during the yatra, as it laid the foundation for large-scale development work in the state.
In the 2014 assembly polls, BJP won 37 seats on its own out of the total 81 seats and this time it wants to almost double its tally. After BJP bagged all the three Lok Sabha seats in Santhal Pargana in this year’s Lok Sabha polls and defeated Disom guru Shibu Soren in his home turf, the party appears to be fully charged to repeat its performance in the assembly polls.
Replying to a query on the possibility of advancing the polls and holding the elections along with those in Maharashtra and Haryana, Yadav said it was the right of the Election Commission to decide on the dates. He said BJP was prepared to face the elections any time.
He also hinted that more like-minded parties may join the NDA fold in the upcoming polls.
Meanwhile, JMM spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said BJP’s dream to capture Santhal Pargana and win 65-plus seats will fall flat. He said last time JMM won six seats and this time their tally would rise. He claimed that JMM’s ongoing ‘Badlao Yatra’ was a great success.