Raipur: Three days after rolling out its first Parivartan Yatra' from south Chhattisgarh, the BJP will kick-start the second such mass-contact programme from the northern part of the state on Friday, intensifying its campaign against the ruling Congress ahead of the upcoming assembly polls.
BJP national president JP Nadda will flag off the Parivartan Yatra (March of Change) from Jashpur district after offering prayers at Balaji temple in Jashpur town, a party functionary said.
The BJP chief will take off in a helicopter from Birsa Munda airport, Ranchi in neighbouring Jharkhand at 10:10 am and will land at the Police Ground helipad in Jashpur at 11 am, the party's state spokesperson Nalineesh Thokne said.
Nadda will offer rituals at the Balaji temple in Jashpur at 12 noon and then address a public meeting at Ranjita stadium ground before flagging off the yatra, he said.
The yatra starts a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a Vijay Sankhnad' rally in Raigarh district and targeted the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government in the state, saying it lagged behind in the welfare of the poor, but was ahead in corruption.
Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh are due in November.
On September 12, the BJP took out its first Parivartan Yatra from Dantewada district. Union Home Minister Amit Shah was scheduled to flag off the first yatra but he could not attend the event due to some urgent reason, party leaders had said.
For the first Parivartan Yatra, the BJP has been using a high-tech bus which was used by it for its Vikas Yatra' in the state ahead of the 2018 assembly elections when the party was in rule, Thokne said.
A similar high-tech bus with CCTV cameras, LED screen, hydraulic lift and a platform on the roof to address gatherings has been arranged for the second yatra, he said.
The bus, painted in vivid saffron colour with blue and green stripes at the bottom, has pictures of Modi, Nadda, state party chief Arun Sao, former chief minister Raman
Singh, leader of opposition in assembly Narayan Chandel and three women leaders Union minister Renuka Singh and BJP national vice presidents Saroj Pandey and Lata Usendi.
It also has images of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the background and prominently displays the picture of Chhattisgarh Mahtari' (mother) over a map of the state.
According to BJP's state in-charge Om Mathur, the Parivartan Yatras are aimed at raising public awareness and exposing the corruption of the Congress government.
Besides, people will also be apprised about the public welfare schemes of the Modi government at the Centre, he had said claiming the yatras will create a new history in Chhattisgarh.
The first yatra will cover 1,728 km visiting Bastar, Durg and Raipur divisions in 16 days while the second yatra will cover 1,261 km in 13 days in the Bilaspur and Surguja divisions.
Both the Yatras, which will see 84 public meetings, 85 swagat sabhas' (welcome gatherings) and seven road shows, will culminate in Bilaspur on the same day after collectively covering a distance of 2,989 km across 87 assembly segments (out of the total 90). PM Modi is expected to attend the concluding function on September 28, party leaders had said.
In the 2018 assembly polls, Congress handed a massive defeat to BJP which had been in power in Chhattisgarh for 15 years under Raman Singh. The Congress won 68 constituencies and BJP just 15.
The saffron party last month released its first list of candidates for 21 seats which it had ceded to Congress in the last polls even though the EC is yet to announce the schedule of the upcoming assembly elections, due later this year.