New Delhi: With non-political yet influential leaders like Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev striking a special connect with the masses off late, the political bigheads have been threatened by their increasing popularity. As a course correction measure, the politicians have got into a rat race of launching Yatras in a bid to reconnect with the people.

With Anna deciding to visit poll-bound states to protest voting against candidates who do not support Jan Lokpal Bill and Baba Ramdev addressing corruption and black money through his Swabhiman Yatra, the political corridors have also been flooded with yatras, launched by leaders of almost all major parties.

Assembly polls lined up for next year in important states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat coupled with speculation of mid-term general elections due to the increasing trouble of the UPA government over price rise, terror attacks and corruption, has pushed the political parties on their toes to be ready for all possibilities.

The proposed Rath yatra by LK Advani is being looked in the similar context though he has made it clear of not being in the race of being a Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who through his Sadbhavana Mission has pitched for a role at the national stage, will also be kickstarting his yatra to visit every village in the state.  

Also following the trend is Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ‘Seva yatra’ that would commence in November. It is to be noted that amidst talks of Modi projecting himself as the PM candidate of the NDA, Several JD-U members are busy promoting him ahead of Modi.

The most popular political leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has lost political ground in Bihar, is also preparing to regain his place by his ‘Pol Khol’ yatra against the Nitish Kumar government.

However, Uttar Pradesh presents an interesting picture. After Rahul Gandhi’s tour from Greater Noida to Aligarh in UP, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra have also decided to embark on yatras.

Not missing out on the trend is Samajwadi party, which has woken up to its old formula of Kranti yatra launched by Mulayam Singh in 1987 to overthrow the Congress government. The new yatra will be launched by son Akhilesh Yadav.

Meanwhile, Jayant Chaudhary, son of RLD Chairman Ajit Singh has also launched his Swaraj Yatra to prove the party’s relevance in the state. 

(JPN/Bureau)