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Posted at: Feb 15, 2018, 1:52 AM; last updated: Feb 15, 2018, 1:52 AM (IST)

Eye on LS polls, BJP sets wheels rolling with yatra

Rajnath calls it part of 8-day ‘mahayagya’ for ‘nation’s prosperity’
Eye on LS polls, BJP sets wheels rolling with yatra
Home Minister Rajnath Singh flags off the ‘Jal Mitti Rath Yatra’ at India Gate on Wednesday. PTI

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14

On the occasion of “Mahashivratri” today, the BJP set into motion the wheels to achieve “success” in the 2019 Lok Sabha. Home Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off the “Jal Mitti Rath Yatra” from India Gate here in the Capital.

The “yatra” is part of the eight-day mega event — the “Rashtra Raksha Mahayagya” — to be held in the precincts of the Red Fort between March 18 and 25.

The BJP leadership denies any political motive behind the event but effort comes ahead of key Assembly elections this year and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

This year, the BJP will fight to retain power in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and wrest Karnataka from the Congress. As per the Home Minister, the “mahayagya” is a “unique effort for not just India but the whole world. It is a symbol of our unity and national integration”.

BJP MP Maheish Girri, the man behind the initiative, said the “yatra” aimed at sourcing clay and water from different parts of the country to build the 108 “havan kunds” for the “mahayagya”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to give the first “aahuti” (offering) in the “yagna” with 2,100 priests and 51,000 participants to seek the blessings of Baglamukhi Devi.

Singh said political parties had organised many such “rath yatras” in the past, “the objective of which was either political success or personal gains”.

“However, the objective of this (yatra) is solely for the prosperity of the nation and to instil positive energy across the society. This is an important step to ensure India again takes the seat of Vishwa Guru,” he said, appealing to all Indians to participate in “mahayagya”.

According to the organisers, the “largest cultural and spiritual ‘mahotsav’ will see participation to all walks of life”. Apart from Prime Minister Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and other top leaders of the party, invitations are also being sent to President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and senior Congress leaders, including president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi.

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