NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: BJP national president Amit Shah and his Congress counterpart Rahul Gandhi will be in Uttar Pradesh to gauge the mood of the people and to review the Lok Sabha poll preparedness of their state units on July 4 and 5.
While Shah is likely to undertake a whirlwind tour of Lucknow, Varanasi, Mirzapur in eastern UP and Agra division in west on Wednesday and Thursday, Rahul will be on a two-day visit to Amethi on the same dates.
Shah’s focus will be ironing out rough edges within the BJP state unit. He will meet party functionaries in Agra, Mirzapur, besides taking stock of organisation’s strength in PM Narendra Modi’s Parliamentary constituency of Varanasi.
In a first visit to the state after BJP’s loss in the Kairana Lok Sabha by poll, Shah, sources said, would also take stock of poll readiness of the social media cell of the party. Modi is also likely to be in his constituency by mid-July.
“The BJP chief will review the organisational issues of the Kashi region under which Varanasi Lok Sabha seat come during his UP visit. He will be closeted with party functionaries assigned tasks to oversee party affairs in Lok Sabha seats under Kashi region,” said a senior BJP functionary.
The BJP has lost three Lok Sabha by-elections in UP in recent months. “Shah will also undertake a rural outreach and connect with the people. He will also meet intellectuals as a part of the Sampark se Samarthan programme. The two-day visit is a part of his attempts to visit a number of states before Monsoon session of Parliament begins from July 18.”
In 2014 elections, BJP and allies had bagged 73 of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. But an imminent grand alliance of Opposition parties has sounded alarm bells for the saffron brigade.
Similarly, Rahul will embark upon a two-day visit to Amethi from July 4. Besides attending several events and meeting party workers, he is likely to visit the family of a farmer who died in May at a government procurement center. This will be his third visit to his home constituency in 2018.