Dhaulpur. In a significant stride, Akash Anand has initiated the Bahujan Rath Yatra in Rajasthan, an endeavour perceived as the unveiling of BSP Supremo Mayawati's nephew onto the political stage. The Bahujan Samaj Party has resonated the call for impending elections in Rajasthan, setting the wheels in motion with the commencement of the 14-day Bahujan Rath Yatra from the heart of the Dhaulpur district. Anand, accompanied by Ramji Gautam, the party's Rajya Sabha MP, took center stage addressing an immense congregation in Dhaulpur.
In his address to the state-level gathering, Anand criticized the Congress government for reneging on its promises of providing employment to 3 lakh youths and free education to women. He emphasized that the Congress government had only delivered "betrayal" and "false promises" to the youth and women. Anand highlighted instances of brutality against women, such as the burning alive of a female teacher and the rape of a 9-year-old girl, to underscore the state's deteriorating law and order situation.
Anand strategically shed light on the distressing state of law and order within the state by drawing attention to instances of egregious brutality against women. He cited the tragic incidents of a female educator being set ablaze and the horrifying rape of a nine-year-old girl, underscoring the deteriorating condition of law enforcement and public safety within the state.
The Rath Yatra aims to further weaken the already vulnerable government in Rajasthan. The state's voting pattern typically involves ousting the incumbent government, and the Congress government, led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, is attempting to break this trend and return to power. The BSP's Rath Yatra could potentially destabilize the beleaguered Rajasthan government.
The Congress Party in the state is grappling not only with factionalism but also facing substantial criticism due to the prevailing law-and-order issues and numerous cases of atrocities against Dalits.
With the yatra poised to cover vast expanses and engage with diverse communities, its implications extend beyond mere political symbolism. This Bahujan Rath Yatra, underpinned by Anand's eloquent discourse, represents an earnest endeavour to steer the state's narrative toward accountability, empowerment, and social justice.
The yatra will span 3500 kilometers across 33 districts over 13 days, covering 96 out of the state's total 200 Assemblies. The journey is scheduled to conclude in the state capital, Jaipur, on August 29th. According to Suresh Arya, Coordinator, the yatra began in Dhaulpur on Wednesday, reached Karauli on Thursday, and was anticipated to arrive in Gangapur on Thursday evening.
Akash Anand, the apparent heir of the Bahujan Samaj Party, is expected to engage with party members and supporters during the Yatra. This initiative is believed to be modeled after the Bahujan Rajyadhikar Yatra, led by Telangana BSP Chief Dr. R.S. Praveen Kumar.
BSP, a national party, aims to enhance its vote share to maintain its national party status. In the 2018 Assembly elections, the BSP won 6 seats and secured 4% of the total votes. Nonetheless, the party faced a setback when 6 of its MLAs defected to the ruling Congress in 2019, despite the BSP's external support to the government. The Yatra encompasses the six seats won by the party in 2018 and nine seats where the party was the runner-up.
Party Supremo Mayawati's announcement that the BSP would be part of the upcoming government has left people speculating. This move is perceived as an effort to curtail defections, which have been plaguing the party.