Union Home Minister Amit Shah will go to Uttar Pradesh for a two-day visit starting Friday to hold strategy meetings regarding the coming elections in the country's most politically crucial state. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath -- who suffered some setbacks within the party and among allies after the second wave of Covid this summer -- is seeking re-election in the state that's seen as the Gateway to Delhi.
Mr Shah has already backed Yogi Adityanath firmly as the party's face in next year's elections.
"If you want to make Modi Prime Minister again in 2024, make Yogi Adityanath the Chief Minister again in 2022. We will make UP the number one state. Without UP there cannot be a government at the Centre and the credit of the Narendra Modi governments in 2014 and 2019 goes completely to people of Uttar Pradesh," he had said a recent meeting during the party's membership drive.
Mr Shah has also expressed confidence that the BJP will cross the 300-seats mark in the assembly polls and Yogi Adityanath will return to power. The BJP won a landslide 312 seats and secured a 39.67 per cent vote share in the elections for 403-member assembly in 2017.
Sources said apart from Yogi Adityanath, state election in-charge Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Sunil Bansal and Swatantra Dev Singh will also attend the four-hour session in Varanasi on Friday.
All ministers in the state government from the Kashi region will be present at the meeting, sources said.
The brainstorming session with party leaders will be held at the Deendayal Hastkal Sankul, a trade centre and museum of the city.
Mr Shah will also go on a tour of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Apart from Varanasi and Gorakhpur -- the home turf of the Chief Minister -- his stops would include Azamgarh, the backyard of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav who is an MP from the constituency and Basti, which is also a BJP bastion.
Mr Shah will also participate in All India Official Language Conference, inaugurate the Khel Mahakumbh in Basti and address a public meeting at the Shiv Harsh College of the city.