BJP national president Rajnath Singh will be in Lucknow on a three-day visit beginning Wednesday to kick start his Lok Sabha campaign for the seat which has been represented by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee five consecutive times.
Singh’s candidature was announced sidestepping major contenders – party leader Lalji Tandon and local Mayor Dinesh Sharma – while also taking him out of his Ghaziabad constituency from where the party has fielded former Army chief V K Singh.
Singh’s cavalcade on Wednesday will first reach party state headquarters on Vidhan Sabha Marg but not before having stopped at eight places on the way, among which include Awadh Hospital, Bangla Bazaar, Jai Narain PG College and Burlington crossing.
After addressing a press conference at party office, Rajnath will move to his residence at 4, Kalidas Marg where he will hold meeting with various units of the party regarding the preparations of his election campaign.
The series of meetings will continue on March 27 in which he will meet party workers of Lucknow unit at Saraswati Shishu Mandir in Nirala Nagar. The following day, Rajnath will meet representatives of nearly two dozen social organisations and, later in the evening, will inaugurate his election office which is likely to be set up at Halwasiya Court building in Hazaratganj. He will also attend a Bhumi Pujan in the election office the same day.
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Party state unit had earlier planned a road show from the airport to the party office. “Rajnathji dropped the plan as it would have caused inconvenience to the commuters,” said Pankaj Singh, his son and party state general secretary. Pankaj is camping in Lucknow for over a week now looking after the campaign preparations.
Pankaj today held a meeting with the students’ leaders of various colleges in Lucknow, asking them to mobilise youths for Singh’s welcoming and also for the campaign.
He also informed that Singh will next visit Lucknow in April to file nominations.
“Because of the model code of conduct, hoardings and party flags have not been erected on and along the roads and there will be no cavalcade of vehicles. Party workers will welcome Rajnathji in a simple manner,” said Narendra Singh Rana, former party media in-charge.
Singh will be facing a tough challenge in Lucknow where Congress has fielded its former state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi (whom Lalji Tandon had defeated in 2009) whereas SP has given ticket to Ashok Bajpai and BSP has fielded former minister Nakul Dubey.