Amid growing pressure from partners in the ruling alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will visit Varanasi and Ghazipur, the areas where two NDA allies have considerable influence.
Amid growing pressure from partners in the ruling alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will visit Varanasi and Ghazipur, the areas where two NDA allies have considerable influence. The prime minister’s trip to his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi will be his second visit there in the last two months. He will inaugurate the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) on the campus of National Seed Research and Training Centre (NSRTC) in Varanasi.
The centre will serve as a hub for rice research and training in South Asia and the SAARC region. Modi will also attend the ‘One District, One Product’ Regional Summit at Deendayal Hastakala Sankul (Trade Facilitation Centre & Crafts Museum) in Varanasi. A commemorative postal stamp on the Maharaja Suheldeo will be released by the prime minister in Ghazipur, where he will also address a public rally at the RTI ground there. However, senior minister in the Yogi Adityanath government and SBSP president Om Prakash Rajbhar, an MLA from Zahoorabad assembly constituency in Ghazipur district, announced that he will not attend the prime minister’s programme.
“I will not attend the December 29 programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ghazipur,” Rajbhar had told reporters a few days back. Rajbhar is sore over the commemorative postal stamp on backward caste leader Maharaja Suheldev Rajbhar not carrying his full name. A problem has arisen with the Apna Dal (S), which is represented in the Union government by Anupriya Patel, an MP from Mirzapur, adjacent to Varanasi. Reflecting the “friction” with the BJP, Anupriya Patel said she stands by the remarks of her husband and party president Ashish Patel, who had voiced frustration with the saffron party over its “treatment” of smaller NDA allies. Ashish Patel had recently alleged at a press conference in Mirzapur that smaller parties were feeling “ignored” by the bigger NDA partner — the BJP. The Apna Dal (S) has presence in over 15 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, with its core voter base of Kurmi Patel, and nearly one lakh of them only in the prime minister’s constituency.