Lucknow: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Raebareli on Sunday, his first trip to the traditional seat of the Gandhi family. Former Congress chief and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi represents Raebareli in the Lok Sabha.
Modi will also visit Allahabad to review preparations for the Kumbh Mela to be held in the city next year.
Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party media co-in charge Navin Srivastava said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Rae Bareli and then he will be in Allahabad."
Modi will hold a public meeting and flag off the Humsafar Express on Sunday, an official said. According to district officials, the prime minister will lay the foundation stone and inaugurate projects worth Rs 1,100 crore during the visit.
On Thursday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had visited Raebareli to oversee preparations for Modi's visit. He also took a tour of the Rail Coach Factory in the district.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said in Lucknow, "I am of the view that the Sunday's visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Allahabad will be a 'shankhnaad' (blowing of conch shell) of the 2019 Lok Sabha election."
Commenting on the outcome of the recent Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, he claimed, "I feel that the BJP did not lose the elections. Rather the Congress was able to spread rumours and a bundle of lies and was able to win the polls by spreading falsehood."
When asked about the Supreme Court's ruling on the Rafale deal, Maurya said the Congress was now finding it difficult to show its face to the people of the country. "The Congress leadership had tried to defame and malign the prime minister, but after the verdict of the apex court, it is quite evident that the Congress can stoop down to any level to gain power," he said.
The prime minister's visit to Raebareli is being seen as a strategy of the BJP to pin the Congress leadership in their respective constituencies in the 2019 general election.
Modi's visit was planned before the counting of votes polled in the five states was taken up on 11 December, after which the Congress threw BJP governments out in three states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Sonia Gandhi has not visited Raebareli since April. Before that, she visited the constituency in mid-2016. She also did not campaign in the constituency during the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections, after she developed a health issue during a roadshow in Varanasi.
The Congress has accused the Modi government of derailing the development of Raebareli.
Union Finance Minister and Rajya Sabha member Arun Jaitley had recently spent his Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLAD) funds on developmental works in the constituency.
Modi is likely to visit Uttar Pradesh again on 29 December to issue a commemorative postal stamp on backward caste Maharaja Suheldev Rajbhar and lay the foundation stone of infrastructure projects in Ghazipur.
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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2018 00:11:26 IST