BJP has plans for Ame­thi

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

The Bharatiya Janata Party is work­ing hard on its plan to give Rahul Gandhi a tough fight in Ame­thi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elec­tions. As part of this plan, party president Amit Shah will visit the con­stituency next week, which is cur­rently held by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Ac­cord­ing to a UP BJP leader, Shah will visit Ame­thi on Tues­day, shortly ahead of the state ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing, which is to be held in Kan­pur on 11-12 Oc­to­ber. As re­ported by this news­pa­per, the strat­egy of wrest­ing Ame­thi and Rae Bareli, held by Rahul and his mother So­nia Gandhi, re­spec­tively, is part of the BJP’s larger plan of a “Congress-mukt Bharat”.

In­ter­est­ingly, Rahul Gandhi also vis­ited Ame­thi this week. It was his first visit to Ame­thi since the UP As­sem­bly elec­tions. BJP lead­ers claim his visit was an ef­fort to re­vive his los­ing clout in Ame­thi, where Sm­riti Irani had given him a tough fight in 2014. The BJP’s con­fi­dence in Ame­thi stems from the spec­tac­u­lar rise in its vote per­cent­age in Ame­thi and Rae Bareli from 2009 to 2014—from 6% to 34% in Ame­thi, and 4% to 21% in Rae Bareli. The party be­lieves that it can win the Ame­thi seat if it puts in some ef­fort. The BJP is fo­cus­ing on pri­mar­ily Ame­thi, more than Rae Bareli. Shah, dur­ing his visit will ad­dress a public rally, which will be at­tended by Union min­is­ter Sm­riti Irani, who has been picked by the party to tar­get Rahul Gandhi.

UP Chief Min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath is also likely to ac­com­pany them. A num­ber of de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes are likely to be in­au­gu­rated. The three lead­ers will ad­dress a public meet­ing on the premises of Sam­rat Cy­cle. The venue is sig­nif­i­cant as Irani had cre­ated a stir in 2015 by ac­cus­ing the Congress lead­er­ship of usurp­ing about 65 acres of land ac­quired from the farm­ers in the name of set­ting up a man­u­fac­tur­ing unit, Sam­rat Cy­cle, a project which never ma­te­ri­alised. The Congress had filed a defama­tion suit against Irani. Ac­cord­ing to the BJP leader, Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Ame­thi just before Amit Shah’s pro­posed visit is a des­per­ate at­tempt to save his po­lit­i­cal con­stituency. “Rahul Gandhi comes to Ame­thi only as a po­lit­i­cal tourist. His visit to Ame­thi just before Amit Shah’s visit proves that he is feel­ing shaky in his own con­stituency.

On the other hand, Sm­riti Irani has been vis­it­ing the area con­sis­tently, tak­ing stock of the de­vel­op­ment works and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the peo­ple there. As a re­sult, the peo­ple of Ame­thi have made up their mind to go for the BJP in the next elec­tions,” he said.

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