Union minister Smriti Irani will be visiting her parliamentary seat of Amethi soon to hold a ‘Jan Samvad’ (public dialogue) programme.
This is another move, to firm up her electoral presence in the constituency in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections due next year.
The development comes close on the heels of Congress' newly appointed state chief Ajay Rai’s claim that senior party leader Rahul Gandhi would contest the 2024 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi.
Sources said that Rai’s claim alerted the BJP that Rahul would return to his constituency in 2024.
BJP’s Amethi district president Durgesh Tripathi said that as per a tentative plan, Irani is expected to soon hold the public dialogue programme in Amethi assembly segment, which is represented by SP MLA Rakesh Pratap Singh.
The development also attained much pertinence days after the opposition, including the Congress, forged an overarching coalition, INDIA, to take on the BJP-led NDA.
Amethi Lok Sabha seat comprises five assembly segments -- Gauriganj, Amethi, Tiloi, Jagdishpur and Salon (in Rae Bareli).
While Gauriganj and Amethi were won by Samajwadi Party in the 2022 assembly elections, Tiloi, Jagdishpur and Salon are represented by the BJP.
Irani, as a matter of fact, has already held ‘Jan Samvad’ programmes in Salon and Jagdishpur.
Tripathi said that the programme aims to bring together the MP, people and district officials on a common platform.
“Thousands of people had benefited from the programme. Many of the people’s problems were solved immediately,” he stated.
The BJP, apparently, seeks to thwart every attempt of the Congress to resurrect itself in Amethi which was represented by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi in 1999 and then by her son Rahul between 2004 and 2014.
In 2019, however, Irani wrested the seat from Rahul.
BJP spokesperson in Amethi Govind Chauhan said that while the saffron party was gaining ground consistently, the Congress was on a constant slide. He said that the recent urban local body elections clearly show that the Congress had lost its base.
“Our party workers are upbeat about the upcoming programmes and campaigns which would be carried out under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath,” he said.