Lucknow: In a first by any Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will be celebrating the festival of Dussehra in Lucknow, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice president and city Mayor Dinesh Sharma said on Tuesday.
Sharma also said that Modi would witness the famous `Ram Leela` at Aishbagh and thereafter stay back for the `Ravan Dahan`, burning of Ravana effigies.
It is for the first time any Prime Minister is celebrating the festival in the state capital. Even Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was Lok Sabha member from Lucknow when he was Prime Minister, did not visit the city on Dussehra.
As tradition, all previous prime ministers have spent Dussehra in the union capital and have witnessed the Ravan Dahan in Delhi where even the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha shares the stage with the PM at the Ram Leela ground festivities.
The move is being seen as an attempt by the BJP to gain a foothold in the state which is slated to go to polls early next year.
Dinesh Sharma said that Prime Minister Modi, after spending around two hours in the city, will fly back to New Delhi. He has no other engagements during his visit to Lucknow. It is however not clear whether Modi will attend the Ram Leela in New Delhi and then fly to Lucknow or skip the Delhi event.