The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to give a “befitting reply” to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s “Kisan Yatra”, as it gets ready to launch its “Parivartan Yatra” in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh from 5 November.

While Rahul’s yatra lasted 26 days, covering 141 Assembly segments, the “Parivartan Yatra” will be 50-day long and cover all 403 constituencies. The elections are likely to be held in February next year.

The yatra will start from four corners of UP. It will start from Saharanpur on 5 November, Lalitpur (Bundelkhand) on 6 November, Sonbhadra on 8 November and Balia on 9 November, said UP BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan.

Party sources claimed that Rahul’s much-touted “Kisan Yatra” failed to make much impact. “Most of the time, he kept on targeting the PM and remained silent on issues related to UP. He failed to highlight the deteriorating law and order situation in UP for which the Akhilesh Yadav government is responsible,” a source said.

The party also believes that Rahul’s yatra took place “too early”. “He was an early starter and is likely to lose steam as elections approach. We are quite excited about our Parivartan Yatra and hope to project ourselves as a strong and credible alternative in the state,” the source added.

The BJP is also upbeat over the recent opinion poll by Axis-My India, which says that the BJP is poised to become the largest party with 170-183 seats, if elections are held today.

According to the opinion poll, Mayawati’s BSP is projected to get 115-124 seats, while the ruling SP may get 94-103 seats. The Congress will get only 8-12 seats, as per the survey.

Mahendra Singh, senior BJP leader from the state, will be the convenor of the yatra. Singh, a national secretary, is BJP in-charge of Assam and played a crucial role in last year’s Assembly elections in the north eastern state.

BJP national president Amit Shah and other senior national and state level leaders will attend the inauguration of the yatra at Saharanpur. The yatra will conclude with a “Parivartan Sabha” in Lucknow on 24 November, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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In order to consolidate the votes of the backward classes and other backward classes (OBCs), the party has also decided to organise “Pichhra-warg sammelan” in every two Assembly constituencies. Besides, there will be separate meetings for women and youths in every district.

According to a party leader, besides national leaders, all prominent leaders from UP — Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra, Uma Bharti — will take part in the yatra. “There will not be one face. It will be a collective effort,” he said.

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