The BJP in Madhya Pradesh is set to launch a statewide Sant Ravidas Samarasta Yatra on Tuesday (25 July) to appeal to SC voters ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
Five senior party leaders, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister and MP Election Committee Convenor Narendra Singh Tomar, National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP SC Morcha President Lal Singh Arya, and State Ministers Bhupendra Singh and Usha Thakur, will inaugurate the yatra from five different locations across the state.
The yatra will traverse through 40 districts of Madhya Pradesh, and all five yatras will culminate on August 12 in Sagar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to be present on the concluding day and will lay the foundation stone of a Rs 100 crore Sant Ravidas temple in Sagar.
"The construction of Sant Ravidas temple was announced by Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan in February this year on the occasion of Sant Ravidas's birth anniversary," Lal Singh Arya explained.
"During the yatra, soil will be collected from 53,000 villages, and water will be collected from all the rivers along the yatra route. These will be used in the construction of the temple," he further said.
Arya also mentioned that Ravidasi saints, Buddhist monks, and followers of Kabir would be invited to address the yatra participants.
SCs make up approximately 16 percent of the state's population. Madhya Pradesh has 35 SC reserved assembly seats, and in 2018, the BJP won 20 of these seats. The party leaders hope that through this yatra, they can establish a stronger connection with the SC voters of the state.
"A lot of work has been done for the SC community by the central government led by PM Modi and the state government. We are hopeful of winning more SC reserved seats in the upcoming elections," Arya told Economic Times.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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