The tour, in two phases, will see the chief minister travel 4,232 km covering 30 districts out of 36 in Maharashtra. The 25-day journey will begin from Gurukunj Mozari village in Amravati district. The first phase will culminate in Nandurbar district in August second week. In the second phase from August 17 to 31, Fadnavis will travel from Aurangabad in Marathwada region to Nashik in North Maharashtra.
During the yatra, the chief minister will hold 104 public rallies and address 228 gatherings in villages along the route.
Interestingly, during the yatra, which marks the pre-poll campaign for the Assembly elections, the chief minister will cover 152 Assembly segments out of 288 in Maharashtra. The districts he will skip include Mumbai and its suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Kalyan-Dombivali and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg. Together, these district constitute 136 Assembly seats.
The BJP is likely to have a separate strategy for these 136 seats in the third phase. Fadnavis said, “The yatra is akin to a pilgrimage keeping in mind the service of people as our central goal.”
Although in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress and NCP were completely routed managing only six seats out of 48, they are trying to put up a united front against saffron parties in the Assembly polls.
Not surprisingly, Fadnavis cautioned workers at party’s conclave on Sunday, “We all know the 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 next 15 years or more.”
BJP general secretary Surjeetsingh Thakur will coordinate the yatra. The chief minister will travel in a rath mounted on a vehicle, which will have all basic amenities. From makeshift podiums to address people en route to accommodating local leaders, the rath will be equipped to ensure Fadnavis carries out his administrative duties simultaneously during the tour.
A BJP source said, “Through this political tour Fadnavis will strive to plant the lotus in every Assembly segment. The party believes in the Lok Sabha polls, Sena leaders had to bank on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma and work to get elected. Similarly, in the Assembly polls they believe Fadnavis’ charisma and work will determine Sena’s electoral prospects.”
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