Chouhan's chariot journey abruptly halted

Chouhan's chariot journey abruptly halted

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses a rally during his 'Jan Arashirvad Yatra' in Jabalpur, on Thursday. PTI

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday abruptly ended his Jan Ashirwad Yatra on a chariot that had rolled on July 14 from Ujjain.

Although the BJP has cited hectic poll preparations as a reason for the sudden halt of the Yatra at Jabalpur, the lacklustre response to it is being widely speculated as the real reason.

Till the model code of conduct had not kicked in on October 6, the state government machinery pulled all stops to ensure the success of the journey. The Congress had lodged several complaints with the Election Commission about abuse of power in requisitioning various modes of transport to fetch people including schoolchildren for welcoming the chief minister wherever he went.

Once the model code of conduct came in to force, the same administration under the watchful eyes of the Election Commission refused to cooperate with the BJP in providing logistic support for the journey. As a result, people’s response drastically diminished, much to the consternation of the chief minister and the party.

The Jan Ashirvad Yatra, which was flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah in Ujjain, was to cover all 230 seats in the state. However, it was abandoned after covering 187 seats only.

BJP’s state election in-charge and Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the Jan Ahirvad Yatra has been terminated so that the chief minister could focus on other election-related preparations.