UP polls: Amit Shah to hold programmes to scale up BJP's campaign; Modi to visit Varanasi


NEW DELHI:┬áTo scale up the BJP’s campaign for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, Union Minister Amit Shah will tour the state in the coming days and will cover more than 140 constituencies, sources said on Tuesday.

During his trip, which will span over a week starting December 24, Shah, the party’s key strategist will travel to at least 21 different locations in the state and in each location, he will hold a programme for seven cluster constituencies, they said.

Keeping caste equations in mind, each programme will be attended by people from three OBC-dominated constituencies, two urban constituencies, one scheduled caste-dominated constituency and one minority-dominated constituency, they said.

Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh are due early next year.

Among the key features of Shah’s visit will be his late evening meetings with party workers to deliberate on strategies for the upcoming elections, they said It was under the leadership of Shah as BJP chief that the party had won a massive majority in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, and won 67 Lok Sabha seats out of 80 in 2019.

In 2014, when he was Uttar Pradesh in-charge, the BJP had won 73 Lok Sabha seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Varanasi on Thursday and launch multiple development initiatives, including inaugurating and laying the foundation stones of 22 projects worth over Rs 870 crore, his office said on Tuesday.

It has been the constant endeavour of the prime minister to work for the development and economic progress of his Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

Moving ahead in this direction, he will visit Varanasi and launch multiple development initiatives at around 1 pm on Thursday, it added.

The prime minister will lay the foundation stone of the “Banas Dairy Sankul” at the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority Food Park, Karkhiyaon, Varanasi.

Spread across 30 acres of land, the dairy will be built at a cost of about Rs 475 crore and will have a facility for processing five lakh litres of milk per day, the PMO said.

This will strengthen the rural economy and help the farmers of the region by creating new opportunities for them, it added.

Modi will also digitally transfer a bonus of about Rs 35 crore to the bank accounts of more than 1.7 lakh milk producers associated with the Banas Dairy.

He will lay the foundation stone for a biogas-based electricity generation plant for a Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union plant in Varanasi’s Ramnagar, the statement said.

It will be a key step towards making the plant energy self-sufficient, the PMO said.

Modi will also launch a portal and a logo dedicated to the Conformity Assessment Scheme of milk products, developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) with the help of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

The unified logo, featuring both the BIS logo and the NDDB quality mark, will simplify the certification process for the dairy sector and reassure the public about dairy product quality.

In another effort to reduce the number of land ownership issues at the grassroots level, the prime minister will virtually distribute the rural residential rights record, “Gharauni”, under the Swamitva scheme of the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj to over 20 lakh residents of Uttar Pradesh, the PMO said.

The programme will also witness Modi inaugurating and laying the foundation stones of 22 development projects worth over Rs 870 crore, it said, adding that this will further strengthen the ongoing 360-degree transformation of Varanasi.

The prime minister will inaugurate multiple urban development projects, including six projects of redevelopment of the Old Kashi wards, a parking-and-surface park at Beniabag, the beautification of two ponds, a sewage treatment plant in Ramna village and the provisioning of advanced surveillance cameras at 720 locations under the Smart City Mission.

Projects in the education sector that will be inaugurated by the prime minister include the Union Education Ministry’s Inter University Centre for Teachers Education, built at a cost of around Rs 107 crore, and a teachers’ education centre at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, built at a cost of over Rs 7 crore, the PMO said.

Further, residential flats and staff quarters at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and the ITI, Karaundi will also be inaugurated by the prime minister.

In the health sector, a project comprising a doctors’ hostel, a nurses’ hostel and a shelter home, amounting to Rs 130 crore, at the Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre will be inaugurated by the prime minister.

He will also inaugurate a 50-bed Integrated Ayush Hospital at Bhadrasi, the statement said.

The prime minister will lay the foundation stone of the Rs 49 crore Government Homeopathic Medical College in Pindra tehsil under the Ayush Mission.

In the road sector, Modi will lay the foundation stone of two “four-to-six lane” road-widening projects for Prayagraj and Bhadohi, the statement said.

This will improve the connectivity of Varanasi and will be a step towards resolving the problem of the city’s traffic congestion, it added.

To give a fillip to the tourism potential of the holy city, the prime minister will inaugurate the first phase of the tourism development project related to the Shri Guru Ravidas Ji Temple, Seer Govardhan, Varanasi.

Other projects to be inaugurated by the prime minister include a speed breeding facility at the International Rice Research Institute, the South Asia Regional Centre, Varanasi, a regional reference standards laboratory in Payakpur village and an advocate building in Pindra tehsil, the PMO said.