Amit Shah on three-day Uttarakhand visit, to attend state meet

New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah will be on a three-day visit to Uttarakhand during which he will attend the state unit’s executive meeting on June 26 and address a rally in Haridwar a day before, in what is being seen as the launch of the party’s campaign for the assembly polls next year. He will also pay obeisance at Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines.

After the party’s attempt to dislodge the Harish Rawat-led Congress government came a cropper, Shah is set to spearhead a determined electoral campaign in the state which will go to the polls along with Uttar Pradesh and Punjab early next year, party sources said. The electoral significance of the small state has increased after the saffron party’s embarrassment in its bid to oust Rawat.

Shah’s visit to the state and the decision to attend the executive meeting to fine tune the party’s strategy comes amid speculation that Rawat, who believes his political prospects have improved after he outsmarted BJP in the power game, could opt for an early election. He will visit the holy places on June 25 and hold a rally in Haridwar in the evening.

Shah had recently told reporters that there is a “strong anti-incumbency” mood in the state and his party will storm back to power whenever polls are held.

The party will also have to take a call on whether it will project a chief ministerial candidate. It has four former chief ministers, including B C Khanduri, B S Koshyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal and Vijay Bahuguna, who recently quit the Congress to join it, in its ranks.