Ahead of the three-day party meet scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Feb 17, the 52-year-old BJP leader did all he could to woo the Dalit community here.
Gadkari, who arrived on Tuesday, Feb 16, went to nearby Mhow, the birthplace of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar. He paid his respects by garlanding a statue of Ambedkar.
He, later, proceeded to the the house of a local BJP corporator Preeti Karosiya, a member of the Dalit Valmiki community, where had lunch.
This act by the BJP leader has invited headlines such as 'Nitin Gadkari does and Rahul Gandhi'.
The Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has in the past visited Dalit homes and invited the ire from political rivals including BJP. In fact BJP had turned its opposition to Rahul Gandhi's visits to the Dalits and tribals houses as a campaign issue during the Jharkhand assembly election in 2009.
Gadkari, however, has continually announced the party's dedication to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, minorities and other weaker sections.
If he manages to win over these sections, the president will be able to bolster the BJP vote bank by at least 10 per cent.