Bihar and Jharkhand are not among the states going to the polls this year. Yet these two states are like nine other poll-bound states -Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, and Telangana in 2023 where politicians were busy mobilising votes by using a common method - yatra.
After the Congress leader started Bharat Jodo Yatra in September 2022, long marches are crisscrossing states such as Tripura, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar and Jharkhand adding to the election heat amid the winter chill.
In Bihar, political strategist Prashant Kishor is touring the nook and corner of the state under the banner of “Samadhan yatra.”
In Jharkhand, CM Hemant Soren, who had started it on December 8 in Garhwa and concluded the first phase of the Khatiyan Johar Yatra in Latehar and Lohardaga on December 16, is scheduled to resume it on January 17.
Soren’s yatra had started after he was quizzed by the ED in an illegal mining case and the opposition BJP and Governor Ramesh Bais raised umpteen questions of corruption against him.
This second phase of Soren’s yatra will start at Koderma and cover other districts including Hazaribagh, Chatra and Chaibasa where Union Home Minister Amit Shah had addressed a mammoth public meeting on January 7.
While Prashant Kishor says that he is touring Bihar for creating “awareness” among voters, he is expected to float a political party to participate in general elections in 2024 Soren says he was apprising people of his government’s “ new domicile policy” based on land records(khatiyan) of 1932 which was passed by the state Assembly earlier and other government “achievements” such as 27 percent reservation for OBC and “resumption of the old pension scheme”.
How much support of people they get through the yatra strategy will be visible when elections are held and results announced. In Jharkhand, none of the “achievements”, the old pension scheme and 1932 khatiyan based “ new domicile policy” have benefited anybody till date.