May 24, 2016 4:53:37 am
The BJP has lined up its top leadership, including 45 Union ministers and nearly a dozen senior leaders, to attend events across 29 districts in Uttar Pradesh as part of the NDA government’s second anniversary celebrations beginning with the Prime Minister’s public meeting in Saharanpur on May 26.
The politically crucial state goes to the Assembly polls early next year.
“The PM will address a meeting in Saharanpur on Thursday marking the beginning of a week-long ‘vikas parv (development festival)’ to highlight his government’s achievements during his two years in power,” BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said in Lucknow.
BJP president Amit Shah is also likely to address public meetings during the exercise that will go on till June 10.
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Finance Minister Arun Jaitely will be in Lucknow and Road and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari in Kanpur, while newly-elected president of BCCI and national president of BJP’s youth wing Anurag Thakur and HRD Minister Smriti Irani will be in Gorakhpur to participate in programmes on separate dates. Health Minister J P Nadda and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya will be in Varanasi, Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, while their ministerial colleagues Harsimrat Kaur and Manoj Sinha will visit Agra.
According to BJP sources, the other leaders who are scheduled to attend events in UP are: Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh and former Uttarakhand CM Ramesh Pokhriyal (Bareilly), External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and MoS Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Noida), Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and MoS Finance Jayant Sinha (Allahabad), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and MoS, Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla (Ghaziabad), Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and MoS, Agriculture, Sanjeev Balyan (Meerut), Law Minister DV Sadananda Gowda and MoS, Panchayati Raj, Nihalchand (Aligarh), Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla (Muzaffarnagar) and MoS, AYUSH, Sripad Naik (Bahraich).
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Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad (Mathura), Narendra Singh Tomar (Etawah), Krishna Pal (Badaun), Ram Vilas Paswan and Giriraj Singh (Rae Bareli), Jual Oram and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Mirzapur), Radha Mohan Singh (Jhansi), Babul Supriyo (Deoria), Thaawar Chand Gehlot (Shahjahanpur) and Mansukhbhai Vasava (Hardoi), Radhakrishnan P (Gorakhpur) will also address events.
Riding on Modi wave, BJP had swept the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 in the state despite being pushed to the margins by Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Patry for much of the earlier 15 years.
The two regional outfits are perceived to have recovered much of the lost ground since the Lok Sabha polls, ensuring that the BJP has its task cut out as far as its return to power is concerned.
During ‘vikas parv’, the MPs would participate in ‘jan chaupal’ programmes up to block level and apprise people of the achievements and programmes of the Centre, the spokesperson said, adding that party workers would also cover 20,000 ‘gram sabhas’ which were left out during ‘Gram Uday to Bharat Uday’ campaign in first phase.
Pathak said it has been decided to constitute divisional and district level units between May 31 and June 7.
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