Amit Shah to review BJP membership drive in Lucknow

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Lucknow, Feb 2: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah would be arriving on a day-long visit to Lucknow on Monday, a party spokesman said.

Shah is scheduled to drive straight from the Amausi airport in the city to the Ganna Sansthan auditorium, where he will review the progress of the party's membership drive in Uttar Pradesh.

Amit Shah

State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayi, general secretary in-charge of the state Om Mathur, national membership drive in-charge and party vice-president Dinesh Sharma, general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal and other state unit leaders would also be present at the review meeting, Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak told IANS.

The BJP national president will later interact with party leaders, office bearers and workers at the state party headquarters at Vidhan Sabha Marg.

Shah's visit is being seen with surprise in political circles here as he was "very engaged" with the ongoing campaigning and strategy making for the Delhi assembly elections, which are being seen as a close fight between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Sources said Amit Shah was keeping a "close tab" on developments in Uttar Pradesh and was not taking any chances with the party organisation, especially with the party aiming to wrest power from the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the assembly elections in the state in 2017.

With the Uttar Pradesh BJP claiming to have crossed the one crore membership mark in the state, a party leader said that while Shah would take stock of the numbers and audit the data, he would also strategise with state leaders, on what was being seen by political observers as a "weak-visioned state unit".

Since the party swept the state in the Lok Sabha elections in May last year, winning 71 out of the 80 parliamentary seats on its own, the party has suffered a series of electoral reverses, worrying strategists.

All but one of the BJP's sitting members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) lost in the assembly bypolls last year, candidates in the Cantonment Board elections supported by the party have bitten the dust in Lucknow, Varanasi and Allahabad and its candidate lost in the Legislative Council elections.

IANS

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