BHOPAL: With an eye on upcoming assembly polls, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will launch a high-voltage `Jan Ashirwad Yatra' from Ujjain on July 14 in a bid to win over voters. BJP president Amit Shah will officially sound the party's poll bugle and flag off Chouhan's high-tech chariot after taking blessings from Lord Mahakaal.
A day before the yatra, Chouhan will launch the high-tech chariot by performing rituals and offering pooja for the success of the tour. The function will be held at the state BJP head office on Friday in the presence of party's election management committee convener Narendra Singh Tomar, state head Rakesh Singh and yatra convener Prabhat Jha. "This is Chouhan's third 'Jan Ashirwad Yatra' as chief minister of the state since 2003. In 2003 and 2008, Chouhan was blessed with power and emerged victorious with a thumping majority. This time again Chouhan will travel in a chariot and BJP will form the government for the fourth time in succession", Jha told TOI.
Sources in BJP said that Chouhan will visit all 230 constituencies in the chariot, which is a modification of a mini-truck with hydraulic platform for addressing the public. The chariot will be a state-of-the-art structure with modern amenities. "Apart from a hydraulic platform, the chariot will have a restroom for the chief minister, a television set and monitoring lounge with closed-circuit cameras, besides a small mini refrigerator for water and soft drinks. A sofa set and a modern toilet attached to the room will be another facility added to the chariot. Modifications could be done for mini kitchen or operating microwave oven as per the requirement", said sources in the BJP.
During the entire yatra, a medical van and an ambulance will also accompany Chouhan along with a team of experts, they said. "The chariot has been designed to reach every part of the state. Chouhan will tour on chosen days during his 72-day yatra in different phases. The first phase will begin from Ujjain to reach Badnagar and Badnawar in Dhar district and after a short gap the second phase will begin from Mahakaushal region', said the organisers.
The chariot will also have a stereo sound system from where Chouhan will address the public and the team accompanying the chief minister will play musical slogans. The yatra will conclude in Bhopal on September 25 with a Karyakarta Mahakumbh, a gala gathering of workers.
"Various forums of the party, including SC and ST fronts and members of all 850 mandals, will welcome the CM's chariot in traditional attire. The party is also likely to announce the campaign slogan `Phir is Baar, Shivraj Sarkaar’ (Once again, Shivraj government)", said a senior state functionary.