West Bengal BJP changed the title of “Jan Ashirwad Yatra” to “Shahid Samman Yatra” with the nod of the party’s national leadership

News Desk: The West Bengal chapter of BJP has decided to change the title of the party’s nationwide event from “Jan Ashirwad Yatra” to “Shahid Samman Yatra”.

The change was made with the nod of the party’s national leadership. The party functionaries in Bengal made it clear that the concept of organising a yatra to seek the blessings of people, which will have no direct political message, might work in other north Indian states but not in Bengal. The Bengal leaders said such an extravaganza ahead of the recent Assembly elections under the banner of Rath Yatra with a motorcade of decorated vehicles covering all Assembly constituencies had no impact on the party’s electoral performance.

“Considering the character of Bengal’s electorates, such events should have a political message. A procession only to seek the blessing of people for newly inducted ministers will not secure any political dividend. This is why we renamed the event as a procession in the memory of our martyrs which will deliver a message to anti-Trinamool Congress voters on the issue of violence unleashed by the ruling party” said a BJP leader.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanded his council of ministers last month focusing inclusion of more women and representatives from backward communities, the BJP has announced that the new ministers will undertake the event under the banner of Ashirwad Yatra to reach out to people. It has been decided that ministers of state will be on the yatra during August 16-18 while cabinet ministers will do the same during August 19-21. The party asked every new minister to cover three Lok Sabha constituencies and four districts in the states they hail from.

From Bengal, four BJP MPs were inducted into Modi’s cabinet as ministers of state.

“Our high command told us to organise the Ashirwad Yatra but we objected. We told them that such events do not influence Bengal’s electorates. It is hard to believe that people will queue up along the roads when we take out the procession seeking their blessings to the newly-inducted ministers. We took out the Rath Yatra spending crores by decorating vehicles with all modern equipment and it travelled hundreds of kilometres ahead of the Bengal polls covering the Assembly constituencies in both north and south Bengal. In the northern part of the state, we managed to retain our strength but we faced a massive jolt in the southern part. It was clear that such extravaganza had no reflection in the results of the Assembly elections” said a BJP leader in Kolkata.