Mission 50 Plus: BJP is seeking to expand its footprint across India. After securing historic mandate in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, BJP wants to continue its resounding success in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections too, which are scheduled to be held later this year. BJP has set a target of winning 50 seats out of 68. To achieve this, the party has started ‘Mission 50-plus’ campaign and launched a parivartan rath yatra or campaign for change — from four parliamentary constituencies. BJP has urged people to reject the incumbent Congress. Congress in 2012 had won an impressive 36 of the 68 seats while the BJP had managed to bag 26. The yatra assumes political significance as BJP on Saturday won Shimla Municipal Corporation polls which was considered as Congress’ citadel for 31 years. The 22-day yatra will cover 68 Assembly segments across the state to reach out to the people over alleged lawlessness in the state. State BJP leaders also called for an end to the alleged corrupt, anti-people and incompetent government of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and to make Himachal Pradesh Congress-free.
It has been learned that all four MPs will take part on the yatra. Senior leaders would also address rallies during the yatra. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, along with Himachal Pradesh party chief Satpal Singh Satti, launched the Yatra from Mandi in the presence of MP Ram Swaroop Sharma. On the other hand, Union minister Sripad Naik kicked off the campaign from Baijnath, with former chief minister and Kangra MP Shanta Kumar. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, former Himachal chief minister P K Dhumal and Shimla MP Virender Kashyap flagged off the campaign from Haripurdhar in Sirmaur. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda with party in-charge Mangal Pandey and Hamirpur MP, Anurag Thakur, kicked it off from Sri Naina Devi in Bilaspur district.
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Haryana CM Khattar had launched a scathing attack on Singh, declaring that “he (Virbhadra) could go to jail in the next few months once the court takes up the trial on the corruption cases against him. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said, “After Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand going the BJP way to endorse the development agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it’s the turn of Himachal Pradesh.” Former Chief Minister Dhumal said the Shimla Municipal Corporation poll results and earlier Bhoranj bypoll had signalled the BJP’s imminent return to power.