The Jan Ashirwad Yatra, started by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Ujjain on July 14, came to an abrupt end on Thursday. The yatra was scheduled to cover all 230 Assembly constituencies in the state, but could cover only 187.
The yatra, being undertaken in a well-equipped customised vehicle, ended at Jabalpur.
Chouhan had taken out similar yatras before the polls in 2008 and 2013, and had ended them on September 25, the birth anniversary of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay.
Explaining the decision to end the yatra, the BJP said elections were approaching and the chief minister was required to devote time to ticket distribution. Senior BJP leader Prabhat Jha said the remaining constituencies would be covered in some manner before the elections begin.
Responding to the announcement, the Congress claimed that the poor response from people was the reason for the yatra being called off.
“Initially, the BJP was asking government employees, patwaris and accredited social health activists (ASHA) to attend the yatra. Once the model code of conduct came into force, these people started giving the yatra a miss due to poll duties. Also, angry farmers were flooding the CM with their demands and party infighting came to the fore during the yatra. All of this forced the CM to call off the yatra before it was scheduled to end,” said Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath.