BJP president Amit Shah, who arrived here today for a three-day visit, unveiled a statue of Deendayal Upadhyaya, founder-leader of the erstwhile Jan Sangh and the party’s ideologue. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma were present as Shah unveiled the statue near the city’s Lal Ghati square. Shah was accorded a warm welcome by the chief minister and other party leaders, including Kailash Vijaywargiya and Prabhat Jha as well as state party president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan, when he landed at Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport.
A large number of BJP workers, many of them sporting saffron turbans, led Shah’s entourage to the state party office. Local party functionaries said among those who turned up to greet Shah while on his way to the state party office were members of the Muslim community. Shah will attend a series of meetings with local party leaders, including state functionaries, core group members, spokespersons, MPs, MLAs and district presidents, during his three days packed with party programmes, Chauhan said.
Central office bearers from the state will also be attending the brain-storming sessions. The visit is part of the BJP chief’s 110-day nationwide tour to strengthen and expand the party’s support base ahead of the 2019 general elections. Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP has been in power for over a decade, are due next year.