NEW DELHI: Poised to flag off four Parivartan Yatras in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is hoping to reap a political dividend in the poll-bound state from the surgical strikes carried by the Army in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on September 29.
The yatras will start from Lalitpur, Sonabhadra, Balia and Saharanpur around Diwali and converge at Lucknow and culminate in a rally to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 60-day yatra programme has been mapped strategically so as to cover the whole of the state. State and central leaders of the party will hold road shows and rallies. The yatras will be led by four top BJP leaders whose names are soon to be finalised by by party president Amit Shah.
The party is keen on using the srugical strikes to whip up support as four of the 19 soldiers killed in the cross-border terror raid on an Army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir were from Uttar Pradesh — Ganesh Shankar from Sant Kabir Das Nagar, R K Yadav from Balia, Harinder Yadav from Ghazipur and Rajesh Kumar Singh.
“There was collective mourning in villages and cities after the bodies of the martyrs arrived. The atmosphere in the state is sharply polarised between Prime Minister Modi and the Congress, Samajwadi Party and BSP on the other hand. People celebrated the surgical strikes by bursting fire-crackers,” said a BJP general secretary.
When it met recently, the core group of the BJP brainstormed on the upcoming Uttar Pradesh rallies and hit upon the idea of using the surgical strikes to “lift the morale of the armed forces,” the rationale being that a large number of Army personnel are from the politically important state.
The armed forces recruit a large number of their personnel from eastern and western Uttar Pradesh and from Bundelkhand. “The starting points of the four yatras — Lalitpur (Bundelkhand), Saharanpur (western Uttar Pradesh), Balia and Sonabhadra (eastern Uttar Pradesh) will thus help the BJP connect with the people.