The newly inducted ministers of the union cabinet will seek blessings from people during ‘Jan Ashirvad Yatra’ starting from Monday.

The BJP has planned this yatra to tell people how opposition parties specially the Congress has not allowed Prime Minister Narednra Modi to introduce these ministers, who came from ordinary background, in the both houses of the parliament on the first day of monsoon session.

During last month’s reshuffle of the union cabinet, for the first time a maximum of 11 women, 27 OBCs, 20 Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe leaders were made ministers.

Sources said that the saffron party has planned to reach out to SC, ST and OBC voters as majority of ministers in the Modi government are from these communities. A senior party functionary said, “After introducing themselves among ‘Janta’ and seeking their blessings, they will also explain to people about the mentality of the opposition parties against the poor and downtrodden, which was in full display when they (opposition) did not allow the Prime Minister to introduce his new ministers in parliament.”

BJP national general secretary and convenor of ‘Jan Ashirvad Yatra’ Tarun Chugh said, “All the 39 newly inducted ministers in the union council of ministers will take people’s blessings in three days ‘Jan Ashirvad Yatra’ in 19 states. Together, all 39 ministers will cover 19, 567 kilometers, 212 Lok Sabha constituencies and 265 districts of the country.”

“The newly-appointed 39 ministers will reach their Lok Sabha constituency after traveling to three Lok Sabha and four districts of their home state, before reaching their own constituency, ” Chugh had said.

According to party sources, during Yatra 1, 663 programmes will be held which include visits to places of religious importance, addressing the public, overseeing the implementation of centrally sponsored programmes and vaccination centres.

A party insider said that this yatra will also set the party preparation in motion in poll bound – Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa and for matter of fact maximum new ministers are from Uttar Pradesh.

The yatra will cover more than 3, 500 kilometres, touching 120 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.

While the seven new union ministers from UP will lead these yatras, all lawmakers and local representatives will join in, as and when these yatras pass through their respective areas.

The seven new faces from UP in the Modi ministry include six BJP MPs and one from the Apna Dal (Sonelal), a BJP ally.

The move comes ahead of the campaign blitzkrieg that the ruling BJP plans to launch in UP.

UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev said the party’s state general secretary and member of legislative council (MLC) Govind Narayan Shukla has been made in-charge of these yatras that would cover several religious cities, including Ayodhya, Mathura, Kashi (Varanasi) and Chitrakoot.

According to the party sources, B.L. Verma, minister of state for Development of North-eastern Region and Cooperation, will lead one of the seven yatras, from Vrindavan, Mathura on August 16.

Verma is the protege of former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh.

Another yatra led by union minister of state for law and justice, S.P. Singh Baghel, will begin from Firozabad and conclude in Mathura.

On August 17, union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises Bhanu Pratap Verma will start the yatra from Lalitpur and reach Fatehpur on August 19 via Jhansi, Mahoba, Banda. The yatra will end in Chitrakoot.

Kaushal Kishore, the Mohanlalganj MP who is the union minister of state for housing and urban affairs, will arrive in Lucknow on August 16 and start the yatra the same day.

Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra, too, will arrive in Lucknow on August 16 and start his yatra from Sandila, Hardoi the same day.

BJP ally and Apna Dal (S) leader Anupriya Patel, who is the union minister of state for commerce and industry, will start the yatra from Prayagraj on August 18 and it will end on August 19 in Mirzapur, her Lok Sabha constituency.

Union minister of state for finance, Pankaj Choudhary, will start the yatra on August 16 from Basti via Barabanki, Siddharth Nagar and Ayodhya.

Prime Minister Modi had also attacked the opposition for not allowing the introduction of ministers. Expressing anguish over the conduct of the opposition leaders, Modi questioned their mentality behind their behaviour of not allowing him to introduce women, Dalit and ST MPs who have been made ministers.

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