This Article is From Aug 06, 2018

Vasundhara Raje's Campaign Rath Is Luxury Bus With Elevator, Sun Roof

The Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra will be Vasundhara Raje's biggest public outreach programme after the BJP's defeat in the bypolls in February.

Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra: Vasundhara Raje will visit 165 assembly constituencies in 40 days.


  • Ms Raje has always started her election campaign from Charbhuja temple
  • It is the only temple in Rajasthan where Gujjars are the priests
  • Gujjars have been demanding reservation in jobs and education

Over the next 40 days, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje will cover 6,000 km and visit 165 assembly constituencies of her state in what she calls her rath (chariot), essentially a modified luxury bus, replete with air conditioning, a bathroom and an elevator.

BJP chief Amit Shah launched Ms Raje's Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra today from the Charbhuja temple in Rajsamand district, 100 km from Udaipur, ahead of the state elections later this year.

The Ashok Leyland 407 bus has a sunroof to allow the Chief Minister to address public meetings from the bus itself. The roof opens up and allows her to come on top of the bus, creating a mini stand.

The pre-poll tour will be Ms Raje's biggest public outreach after the BJP's stunning defeat in the by-elections in February. The party lost the Alwar and Ajmer parliamentary seats and the Mandalgarh assembly segment to the Congress.


Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra: The modified Leyland 407 bus has air conditioning, a bathroom and an elevator.

The Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra will highlight the achievements of the BJP government as the bus passes through 165 of the 200 assembly constituencies in Rajasthan.

The tour will be flagged off from a Lord Krishna temple in Rajsamand. Since she became Chief Minister for the first time 18 years ago, Vasundhara Raje, 65, has always started her election campaign from the Charbhuja temple.

"This place is linked to the ethos of the Mewar region. It is associated with valour, history and devotion. That's why Vasundhara ji comes here," her cabinet minister Arun Chaturvedi said.

The Charbhuja temple is the only temple in Rajasthan where the traditionally cattle-rearing community of Gujjars are the priests.


Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra: Members of the Gujjar community are the priests at Charbhuja Temple.

Vasundhara Raje's previous term as Chief Minister saw violent agitations by the Gujjars demanding reservation in jobs and education.

This time, she is also banking on the delivery of her welfare schemes to garner votes.Over the next 40 days, her bus tour will be to give people a marksheet of her government's performance.

After some thought, the BJP has decided to project her as the face of the party in Rajasthan and detractors within the party seem to have fallen in line. Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Katariya had in 2013 decided to launch his own yatra, before falling in with the party line. He now says his election will be fought under Ms Raje's leadership."Amit Shah has said she is the face of the party and we are committed soldiers of the party. So we will work for the party. After all it's the party to whom we owe everything," said Mr Kataria.

But the Congress says the real test will be the people's support and not the party's. "Vasundhara Raje has to answer people of the state, she never met people when in power for 4 years and now do people want to meet her?" said Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot.

But Ms Raje is fighting not just anti-incumbency but also pressures from within her party. She refused to accept the high command's choice for party president, believed to be Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and decided to go with an RSS man, Madan Lal Saini, instead.