Express News Service

JAIPUR: The ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ of the BJP in Rajasthan seems to have become a means to patch up the rift in the party’s state unit.

As Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav set off on his three-day yatra from Alwar’s Bhiwadi town on Wednesday, it was interesting to see that the posters this time also included former CM Vasundhara Raje. She was dropped from all posters at the BJP headquarters in Jaipur two months ago. 

This is being seen as an attempt to pacify Raje loyalists who are planning their own yatra in the state from next month. Last week, Raje said that she is more interested in living in people’s hearts than being seen on posters. 

Significantly, in the poster of ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’, Vasundhara Raje has been put up along with PM Narendra Modi, National President JP Nadda, BJP in-charge for Rajasthan, Arun Singh, and Union Ministers Bhupendra Yadav, Gajendra Shekhawat, Arjun Meghwal, and Kailash Chaudhary. In addition, state BJP president Satish Poonia and Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria are also seen on this poster. The poster has been put up even on the social media outlets of the Rajasthan BJP. 

In Rajasthan, ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ will cover a distance of 417 km in three days. In this period, Yadav and BJP leaders will interact with the people of the state at 40 places and review the schemes of the central government in order to strengthen the party’s connection with people at the grassroots. 

Politically, however, it is the poster of ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ that is being most talked about given the controversies over posters for the past few months. Pictures of Vasundhara Raje were removed from posters and banners outside the state party headquarters in June which angered the former CM’s followers. But now that Raje is back in state BJP’s posters, it is being widely speculated that the yatra may well become a truce-maker between the two major camps in Rajasthan BJP – one led by state party chief Satish Poonia and the other by former CM Raje. 

Although Raje remained quiet for several weeks, her followers openly spoke against the party leadership in the state and last month. One of her loyalists, Rohitashv Sharma, was also expelled from the party for six years. A week ago, Raje hit back at the poster row for the first time and said, “I don’t believe in the politics of posters but want to live in the hearts of the people.” 

BJP sources say the party’s central leadership is keeping its eyes on Rajasthan and sending teams to review and monitor the situation. While a few party veterans have already toured the state, Bhupender Yadav is now trying to balance the equations in the state BJP.