UP Assembly election: Amit Shah chairs crucial pre-poll meet with state BJP leadership in Varanasi
The meeting in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha seat was attended by the leaders in-charge of all 403 constituencies, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath
Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a crucial meeting in Varanasi on Friday to supervise BJP's poll preparedness ahead of the Assembly polls in the politically-charged Uttar Pradesh next year.
The meeting in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha seat was attended by the leaders in-charge of all 403 constituencies, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
It also included the party's 98 district-level leaders and regional unit presidents, apart from its state in-charge and national vice-president Radha Mohan Singh, state election in-charge and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and UP Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.
Thousands of hoardings had been put in Varanasi to welcome the home minister, who had in past held responsibility for the party's UP affairs in charge in 2014.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Varanasi. He is on a two-day visit to Varanasi and Purvanchal. pic.twitter.com/b0sS9ZAQF7
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 12, 2021
It is Shah's second visit to the state within a fortnight. Earlier on 29 October, he had launched a BJP membership drive in Lucknow and backed Adityanath as the party's chief ministerial face in the elections.
"The 2024 Lok Sabha elections that we have to win under Modiji's leadership, its foundation will be laid by the UP 2022 Assembly polls. I want to tell UP's public that if you want Modi ji to return as PM in 2022, you have to make Yogiji CM again in 2022. Only then can the country progress," he had said.
Incidentally, Shah was the party-in-charge in 2014 when the BJP won 73 of 80 Lok Sabha constituencies with ally Apna Dal and came to power at the Centre. He was also the party's chief when the BJP and its allies won 325 seats in the 2017 Assembly polls, and when the BJP-Apna Dal alliance won 64 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Before chairing the meet, Shah reached Lanka Crossing and garlanded the statue of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and later reached Hastkala Sankul (trade facilitation centre for handicrafts to participate in the meeting.
Earlier in the day, about 50 Congress workers, protesting against the alleged misuse of government buildings for party (BJP) events, were detained by police.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Varuna Zone) Prabal Pratap Singh said about 50 Congress workers have been detained over the apprehension that they may disturb the peace.
Former Congress MLA Ajay Rai alleged the government buildings of the country and the state are constantly being misused by the BJP for their party events.
After the meeting, Shah attended All India Rajbhasha Sammelan.
Shah in Azamgarh tomorrow, Akhilesh to visit Gorakhpur
On Saturday, he will also visit Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav's Lok Sabha constituency of Azamgarh, where he will lay the foundation stone of a state university and will address a public meeting in Basti.
BJP's regional vice-president Dr Satyendra Sinha said Shah will be addressing people at Shiv Harsh Kisan PG College between 3.40 pm and 4.25 pm.
Meanwhile, Yadav on Saturday will be in Gorakhpur, the UP chief minister's home turf. He will start a "rath yatra", which will go towards Kushinagar and return to Lucknow after a few programmes, said Samajwadi Party leader Zafar Amin.
The state elections are expected to be held between February and March next year to elect 403 members of the legislative Assembly. The Election Commission is likely to announce the schedule in January.
The term of the current Assembly elected in 2017 will expire on 14 May, 2022.
With inputs from PTI
In the manifesto, the party resolved to fill the "massive backlog" of jobs in the public sector and promised 20 lakh jobs of which eight lakh would be for women.
It would be unwise to jump to conclusions on the basis of the exit of a slew of OBC leaders from the BJP. As of now, the OBC revolt is a small one and has not resulted in an explosion.
According to the official schedule given by the Election Commission, the Uttar Pradesh polls will be held in seven phases from 10 February to 7 March this year.