Monday, December 4, 2023

Center clears its intention on Sakalp Yatra: ‘No plan to start Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra in poll-bound states’

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The Central government clarified on Thursday that the ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’, designed to oversee the effective execution of the Centre’s welfare initiatives in rural India, will not commence in the states currently under the model code of conduct due to upcoming elections. Apurva Chandra, the Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, confirmed that the yatra is scheduled to begin in states like Telangana, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh only after the election process concludes.

The ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp’ yatra is set to be inaugurated on November 15 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, coinciding with Birsa Munda Jayanti. With over 2,500 IEC vans covering 2.5 lakh gram panchayats and 3700 urban local bodies across 14 thousand locations, the yatra will primarily focus on tribal areas, extending over a period of two months.

Dedicated ‘raths’ or customized vehicles will travel throughout the country as part of the ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’, ensuring the seamless implementation of central schemes and reaching out to the intended beneficiaries post-Diwali. Apurva Chandra also emphasized that the ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp’ yatra aims to ensure comprehensive outreach, intending to underscore the central government’s schemes and their advantages through personal narratives, interactive experiences, street plays (‘nukad nataks’), and engaging quizzes. These initiatives have been structured to enhance public awareness regarding the benefits of various central government schemes.

Earlier on Sunday, Congress leader RC Chaudhary alleged that the BJP’s ‘Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’, counts as a breach of the Model Code of Conduct of the Election Commission, which is currently in force in poll-bound Rajasthan. “The Model Code of Conduct is already in force in five states from October 9. The Centre couldn’t bring much development in the nine years of its rule at the Centre. Today, through this yatra, it is trying to attract votes, in violation of the Model Code of Conduct,” he added.

“The Election Commission should ensure that the Model Code of Conduct is followed by all political parties in good faith. We submitted a memorandum today to the state election committee chief and registered our protest against the Centre’s violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The code is being flouted with impunity as no prior permission for the yatra was sought. The Centre wants to influence voters through such yatras. We want the elections to be free and fair and, in order to ensure that this happens, the MCC should apply to such marches as well,” Chaudhary added

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