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BJP heavyweights Amit Shah and Smriti Irani are set to visit Amethi, considered a Congress bastion, three days after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the parliamentary constituency. Union Minister of Textiles and Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow, while BJP chief Amit Shah will visit on October 10, a statement issued by the district administration said. A number of schemes and projects are likely to be announced and their foundation stones laid at a function here on Tuesday to be attended by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The beneficiaries of various schemes will be handed over certificates, the statement said. Irani is likely to attend the launch of a FM station at Gauriganj and an initiative to save Gomti river near Pipri village, it said. The Union minister will also attend the inauguration of a tuberculosis unit at the district hospital and a primary health centre at Odari Tiloi, and attend other public welfare programmes launched by the state and central government. On October 9, Irani will visit Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) in Jagdishpur, it said. Amethi, which has traditionally been a Congress bastion, had in 2014 Lok Sabha elections witnessed a high-pitched electoral battle between Gandhi and Irani. Though Irani lost to the Congress scion, she managed to reduce his victory margin from around 3.70 lakh in 2009 to 1.07 lakh in 2014. In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, the BJP won six of the 10 Assembly seats falling under the parliamentary constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli.
Four of them were in Amethi. Party sources said the upcoming visit of the senior BJP leaders was aimed at sending a clear message that the current regime believed in all-round development of the state and was not meting out any "step-motherly treatment" to the areas where the BJP had failed to make a mark. The Congress vice president had during his visit here on October 5 accused the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh of re-inaugurating the projects launched by the previous UPA regime in the district. He had also mounted a sharp attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and asked him to address unemployment problem and farmers' issues, and dared him to allow the Congress to resolve the problems in six months. "If Modiji cannot address these, he should say so and Congress will come and do his work in six months," he had said.
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