NEW DELHI: The BJP is aiming to gauge the mood of the nation with the ongoing Jan Ashirvad Yatra. There are instructions to party leaders to strengthen Brand Modi, which apparently had taken a hit in the internal assessment on account of the second wave of Covid-19.
Taking the 212 Lok Sabha constituencies in its ambit, the Jan Ashirvad Yatra is one of the largest mobilisation of party cadres after the West Bengal Assembly elections drubbing despite full utilisation of the party’s resources.
“There are two clear objectives of the Yatra. First, strengthen Brand Modi, which is our single biggest poll mascot, helping to overwhelm the local factors in times of elections. Second, map the scale of faction-fighting in each region, which will form the basis of the post-Yatra challenge for the top leadership,” said a senior BJP functionary. The 39 ministers inducted in the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are taking out the Yatra, which will last 142 days and crisscross 212 Parliamentary constituencies, covering 19 states, mostly ruled by BJP.
“BJP hopes to pick up ground feedback on several political factors at a time when Covid-19 cases are in check in places where the Jan Ashirvad Yatra is being mostly taken out. The party hopes to work on the feedback in the next few months before the BJP faces five Assembly elections early next year,” added the functionary. Incidentally, faction-fighting is seen as a key challenge ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, with the focus mainly on Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. With the Yatra, BJP is learnt to be working to bring the feuding factions closer and work for a stronger party amid indications of Opposition parties grouping up to challenge the saffron outfit in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
“The rout in the last phases of Bengal elections and subsequent assessment has shown that Brand Modi is weakening. The way to pull it back is to reach out to people by talking about the amount of work done by the Modi government, which may have been overshadowed by the pain and sufferings of the people during the second wave of Covid-19,” said another BJP functionary, explaining the saffron outfit’s major push for the Jan Ashirvad Yatra.