BJP president Amit Shah, who arrived here Sunday, will be inducting Congress’s former two-time MP from Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency and minister Choudhary Lal Singh into the party fold at a rally in Kathua, about 80 km here, on Monday. According to BJP sources, Lal Singh will join the BJP along with 20,000 supporters.
Before the event in Kathua, Shah along with Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh is scheduled to visit border areas of R S Pura to take stock of the situation in the wake of continued shelling by the Pakistan army for the past one month.
Knowing well that Shah’s first ever visit to the Jammu region is of far-reaching significance in view of his impression among party cadres and also political detractors following his spectacular performance in UP during the recent Lok Sabha polls, the local party unit does not want to leave anything to chance in making the function a success. BJP MP and in-charge of party affairs in the state Avinash Rai Khanna has already reached Kathua to supervise the arrangements at Ramlila ground, the venue.
Both Jammu city and Kathua town are dotted with lotus flags and there is a sense of festivity among saffron supporters here. The party is ferrying supporters from across the province to make Shah’s first visit to the state as party chief a huge success.
For Lal Singh too, it is an opportunity to show his clout and send a message to the Congress high command that they committed a political blunder by fielding Ghulam Nabi Azad in his place from Udhampur during the Lok Sabha polls. Azad lost the elections to Jitendra Singh.
The civil and police administration too do not want to leave anything to chance in view of the threat perception to the visiting top leader of the BJP, especially in view of the terror strike in Hiranagar area days after Narendra Modi’s Lalkar rally during the Lok Sabha campaign there. All roads leading to Ramlila ground have been sealed and all vehicles passing by are being searched.
The rally will unveil BJP’s strategy for the coming Assembly polls, said a Congress leader who did not wish to be named and added that the BJP’s growing popularity was causing ripples in political circles and that Shah’s visit had enthused the party cadre.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.