The mission Maharashtra in two phases will see chief minister undertaking a hectic schedule traveling 4232 km covering 30 districts out of total 36 in Maharashtra. The 25 days journey will begin from Gurukunj Mozari village in Amravati district of Maharashtra. It will culminate in the tribal belt of the Nandurbar district in North Maharashtra between August 1 and 9. In the second phase beginning, August 17 to 31 will see Fadnavis traveling between Aurangabad in Marathwada region to Nashik in North Maharashtra.
During the Yatra, the chief minister will hold 104 public rallies and address 228 small gatherings in villages along the route.
What is interest to note is during the Yatra which marks the pre-poll campaign for October assembly election chief minister will cover 152 assembly segments out of total 288 in Maharashtra.
The districts which have been skipped included Mumbai and it’s suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Kalyan -Dombivali Ratnagiri – Sindhudurg. Together these districts constitute 136 assembly seats.
The BJP is likely to have a separate strategy for these 136 seats in the third phase which is under wraps.
Officially, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, ” The Yatra is akin to a pilgrimage undertaken to keep in mind the service of people as our central goal.”
Interestingly, Fadnavis’s Yatra marks a new beginning in the politics of Maharashtra where the serving chief minister will interact and address people carrying ahead the message of good governance of his government.
The exercise has a larger political objective to ensure BJP makes deeper inroads in assembly polls across these districts.
The CMS decision to cover 152 assembly segments is perceived as a move to project Fadnavis as the unchallenged leader of Maharashtra not only of BJP but also it’s allies when it comes to taking on united opposition of Congress and NCP.
Although in the Lok Sabha elections Congress and NCP were completely routed managing only six seats out of 48 seats, they are trying to put up a united front against saffron parties in the assembly.
Not surprisingly, Fadnavis cautioned the workers at the party’s conclave on Sunday, ” We all know Congress and NCP are on the back foot. We are going to fight a weak opposition. Yet, we should not lower our guards. Every single seat is crucial and requires hard work. We have to defeat them in such a manner that they remain in opposition for at least the next 15 years or more.”
The BJP general secretary Surjeetsingh Thakur will coordinate CMS Yatra. The chief minister will travel in a rath mounted on a vehicle that will have all basic amenities. From makeshift podium to address people en route to accommodate local leaders for discussions, the rather will also be equipped to ensure Fadnavis carries out his administrative duties simultaneously during the travel.
The political managers in BJP revealed, ” Through this political pilgrimage Fadnavis will strive to plant the lotus in every assembly segment. The party believes in Lok Sabha Sena leaders had to bank on Prime minister Narendra Modi charisma and work to get elected. Similarly, in assembly polls, they believe Fadnavis’s charisma and work will determine Sena’s electoral prospects.” As insiders reveal almost all senior sitting Sena members have sought at least two meetings of Fadnavis in their constituency when the poll campaign starts in October 2019.