Yatra hitting roadblock and BJP’s poor show in Assembly polls have hit cadre morale.


New Delhi: The proposed “Ganatantra Bachao” (Save Democracy) Rath Yatra of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bengal is likely to take place around 21-23 December against the earlier planned date of 7 December.

Three BJP leaders—Mukul Roy, Pratap Banerjee and Jayprakash Mazumdar—met the top three officials of the Bengal government—the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and the Home Secretary—in Lalbazar and discussed the routes and submitted the proposals for the Yatra that would be undertaken in the state as per the directions of the Calcutta High Court.

According to sources both in the BJP and in the Bengal government, the schedule and the route of the Yatra are likely to be cut short and certain areas will be “no-go” for the Yatra because of the law and order situation in the state. A top source in the Bengal government said, “We had a meeting and received the proposals. We will examine them carefully. We cannot allow the Yatra to disrupt public peace and harmony. Accordingly, the route will be decided.” A senior BJP leader said that since all their plans were undergoing changes, they reworking the dates.

“We are discussing the matter and most likely we will start the Rath Yatra between 21 and 23 December. We will have to take into account when our senior leadership in Delhi is free to attend the inauguration. It is most likely to be flagged off by our national party president, Amit Shah. The party will submit the final dates to the Bengal government and the administration soon,” a senior BJP leader from Bengal said.

Sources in the BJP also said that their cadre’s enthusiasm has taken a hit both due to the Rath Yatra hitting a roadblock, and also because of the poor performance of the party in the three Hindi heartland states where election results to the Assemblies were declared earlier this week. “The cadre was very enthusiastic about the Yatra until last week, but that’s no longer the case. The BJP’s poor performance has hit the morale of the party workers. It’s time the party decided on the date so that the Rath can start moving,” a source in the BJP told this newspaper.

Sources in the party also indicated that some of the Chief Ministers and Union Ministers who were scheduled to go to Bengal to campaign for the party during the Rath Yatra—which is supposed to pass through all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal—may not be visiting the state after all.


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