CHENNAI: With just less than a year left for the Lok Sabha elections, BJP national president Amit Shah is visiting Chennai on July 9 to tone up the party apparatus for facing the elections. Last year, Shah cancelled his two visits to Tamil Nadu at the last minute.
This time, significantly, the BJP leader’s visit is happening when the State is facing several issues and the BJP as well as the Centre is criticised on many counts in Tamil Nadu. Just as the protests over the Sterlite issue and police firing are subsiding, the protest against the Chennai-Salem green corridor is gaining momentum.
The BJP is drawing flak over the Cauvery dispute also for the delay in the release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu though the party is boasting of having made the Cauvery Water Management Authority a reality.
BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan said Amit Shah had no plans to meet leaders of any other political parties during this visit because this is purely for reviewing the activities of the party.
The Mandhiramaalai programme aimed at bringing together OBC leaders on a single platform was earlier scheduled to take place on July 7 but has been postponed now. Even in that programme, Amit Shah was not scheduled to take part.
Party sources said that according to a tentative schedule, Amit Shah is meeting the party office-bearers from the Andaman Nicobar islands, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu in the morning on July 9. Later, he will be holding discussions with senior leaders about functioning of the wings of the State unit.
After this, he will be interacting with the in-charges of all Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies. Amit Shah is likely to meet VIPs from all fields to present them with copies of achievements of NDA. The party is making efforts for a meeting between 20,000 booth committee leaders and Amit Shah on this occasion. But the programme is yet to be confirmed. He is also likely to address a press conference in Chennai.
Purpose of the visit
“Our national president is coming to discuss the party activities for the Lok Sabha elections. He will be meeting the rank-and-file of the party, particularly, those who head the booth level committees. He will also meet the committees set up for the parliamentary elections.