Lucknow: Rahul Gandhi, Smriti Irani in Amethi on Jan 4-5

Rahul will be inaugurating ‘Adhivakta Bhawan’ at the district collectorate, constructed with MP Local Area Development funds on January 4

Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to his parliamentary constituency Amethi on January 4-5 will coincide with that of Union Minister Smriti Irani, who will be inaugurating a CT scan unit at the district hospital and participate in distribution of blankets.

This will be Irani’s second visit to the Gandhi bastion in two weeks. On December 23, she was there as chief guest for a workshop organised by the Khadi and Gramodyog Aayog.

“He (Rahul) will be making surprise visits to villages of Salon and meeting local residents to discuss their problems,” said Congress district president Yogendra Mishra.

Freebies, saplings: A one-upmanship game in Amethi

With Lok Sabha elections not too far away, both Congress and BJP appear to be playing a one-upmanship game in Amethi. It started with Congress distributing saplings of banana plants and Smriti Irani later claiming that RSS had already reached thousands of families with saplings of fruit-bearing plants. Irani has been giving away benefits under different government schemes or through non-government organisations, while Congress is giving away solar lights, solar water pumps in schools etc. Congress sources said Rahul Gandhi has approved funds worth upto Rs 28 lakh for upgradation and maintenance of the memorial of sufi poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi in the district.

Rahul will be inaugurating ‘Adhivakta Bhawan’ at the district collectorate, constructed with MP Local Area Development funds on January 4. On January 5, he will meet the public and later take part in the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-formed Bar Association of Musafirkhana Tehsil. He will also offer condolences to late Congress leaders and workers of the region.

This will be Rahul’s first visit to the Gandhi bastion since Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a public meeting on December 16 in Rae Bareli, where he inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of different development projects including upgradation of the modern rail coach factory, which used to be Sonia Gandhi’s pet project. Modi had, during his visit, alleged neglect of the region during previous regimes.

Irani will also reach Amethi on January 4. Speaking to The Indian Express, Durgesh Tripathi, the BJP district president, said, “Rahul Gandhi is MP from here but Smriti Irani, despite losing from here and despite her responsibilities as minister, has been a more frequent visitor. She has given gifts to Amethi on each visit. Even the people are talking about it.”

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