Karnataka BJP to begin Jana Sankalpa Yatra led by Yediyurappa, Bommai as Congress’ yatra continues

The Jana Sankalpa Yatra will take place from 11 October to 25 December, with BJP leaders insisting it doesn't counter the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Oct 10, 2022 | 9:09 PM Updated Oct 10, 2022 | 9:10 PM

BJP Executive Meet

With Assembly elections months away, The Karnataka unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to begin its statewide yatra on Tuesday, 11 October.

The Jana Sankalpa Yatra — a 46-day outreach programme — will be led primarily by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and parliamentary board member BS Yediyurappa.

Countering the Bharat Jodo Yatra by the Congress in Karnataka, the ruling BJP will kickstart its own Jana Sankalpa Yatra from Tuesday.

Touring the whole State, and organising public meetings, and gatherings to highlight the achievements of the BJP government are on the schedule.

With the elections round the corner, the BJP’s Jana Sankalpa Yatra has been strategically planned to cover 150 constituencies in the state in 46 days by two leading teams — one under BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel and the other led by both Bommai and former chief minister Yediyurappa.

Each team would focus on campaigning in full swing in at least 50 Assembly constituencies by 25 December — the conclusion of the first round of the Jana Sankalpa Yatra, BJP sources said.

Earlier, on Friday, the BJP’s Executive Meeting — held with the leaders and party workers — discussed the agenda of the Jana Sankalpa Yatra, which would aim at winning at least 150 out of the 225 seats in the state’s upcoming Assembly elections.

BJP’s ’50 percent’ plan

BJP spokesperson Mahesh G told South First that the Jana Sankalpa Yatra would be carried out with three-four aspects in mind for both the state and the Central governments.

“Our government’s achievements come majorly through the implementation of irrigation projects, construction of roads and provision of drinking water to almost all households in the state,” said Mahesh.

“The teams will also strengthen each and every booth. We call it ‘booth shashakthikarana’ (empowerment)’, so that at least 50 percent of the votes are cast in favour of the BJP at every booth.”

Mahesh also said that during the last Assembly elections, the BJP lost in about 25 constituencies by a narrow margin, ranging from 500 to 5,000 votes.

“We are working on those constituencies, where the C-voter would become the B-voter and the B-voter should become the A-voter,” he explained.

“Of course, there are some grey areas, like some parts of Mandya, where the BJP stood fourth during the last election with 5,000 votes. But this time, we are working towards getting at least 50 percent of the votes and crossing the 35,000-vote line in the area,” Mahesh said.

At present, the BJP has control of 124 constituencies, and party workers have been asked to work towards making it a total of 150 this time.

“But there are challenges involved. For example, Old Mysuru is a grey area for us. However, we are planning this time to get at least 50 percent of the votes from there as well,” Mahesh said.

BJP general secretary Ravi Kumar said the Jana Sankalpa Yatra would have a massive impact on the upcoming elections.

“It cannot be compared with the Bharat Jodo Yatra of the Congress. Rahul Gandhi is walking around with people he has brought from other states, and no locals are participating in his yatra. We have already declared it a Bharat Todo Yatra, but now we reiterate that it is not a Bharat Jodo Yatra, but it is Congress Jodo Yatra, since the Congress has no presence anywhere in the country except for two states,” Kumar told South First.

Visit to mutts, dining with Dalits

The outreach programmes of the Jana Sankalpa Yatra are expected to include visits to mutts, temples, and houses of OBCs, SCs, and STs and having lunch or dinner with them. The BJP is calling them “Sarvajanika Sabha”, aimed at winning the confidence of the voters.

“According to the plan, 50 constituencies will be taken care of by the BJP state president and 50 constituencies will be covered by both the chief minister and the senior BJP leader Yediyurappa,” said Kumar.

“The BJP’s national general secretary and MP Arun Singh will take care of campaigning in 25 constituencies and the remaining 25 constituencies will be taken care of by other BJP leaders in the state,” he added.

Moreover, the Jana Sankalpa Yatra is also expected to see meetings with the booth-level officers, booth presidents, mandal committee members, and pancharatnas of each booth.

This will apparently extend to the district bodies: members of Shakti-Kendras (committees heading a collection of booths) and Maha-Shakti-Kendras (a panel that heads those committees).

In total, around 1,500-2,000 people associated with booths will be addressed by BJP leaders, who will chalk out plans and activities to increase vote-getting chances for the BJP.

When asked if the Jana Sankalpa Yatra would cross paths with the Bharat Jodo Yatra by any chance, Kumar said that it was highly unlikely.

“We planned our yatra much earlier than the Congress. Moreover, they are covering only seven districts with select constituencies, but we are tapping almost all the constituencies in the state,” he explained.

Mahesh, meanwhile, said: “The Jana Sankalpa Yatra will have a convention of the OBC Morcha in Kalaburagi on 11 November. On 30 October, a convention of the ST Morcha will be held in Ballari.”

He added that an SC Morcha convention was planned in Mysuru in the first week of December, and a Yuva Morcha in Mangaluru, but its date is yet to be decided.

“On all these dates, the Bharat Jodo Yatra will be somewhere else, and there would not be any crossing of our yatras,” Mahesh said.