Varanasi: With the crucial assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh just around the corner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Varanasi - his Lok Sabha constituency – on Thursday during which he will interact with party workers.
During his interaction with nearly 20,000 booth-level party workers, PM Modi is expected to give them the mantra for ensuring success for their party in the crucial 2017 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
PM Modi will reportedly Interact with party workers at the Diesel Locmotive Works (DLW) premises during his visit to the ancient temple town.
During his visit to Varanasi, the Prime Minister is also likely to flag off quite a few projects, which includes laying of foundation stones for a cancer centre and a super-speciality hospital at the Benares Hindu University.
Modi is also expected to attend the "Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav" (national cultural festival), a week-long event organized by the Union Ministry for Culture where artistes from across the country, some of them of international repute, have been performing.
From BHU premises, Modi will leave for a brief tour of Kabir Nagar locality, named after the 17th century mystic and poet, and inspect underground cabling and heritage lighting work, which is being carried out as part of the IPDS (Integrated Power Development Scheme) and HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana) schemes.
Thereafter the Prime Minister will reach DLW, where his political engagements will be preceded by laying of foundation stone for a 150-bed ESIC (Employee's State Insurance Corporation) super speciality hospital and inauguration of a trade facilitation centre and a crafts museum besides launching of a number of schemes and projects under the Textiles Ministry.
This would be Modi's first tour of his parliamentary constituency since demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that has drawn much flak from the opposition as the shortage of currency caused inconvenience to traders, salaried groups, artisans and unskilled daily wage earners alike.
The PM's message to the booth-level workers of the BJP, drawn from all five assembly segments falling under the Lok Sabha constituency, will set the tone for the party's foot-soldiers faced with a daunting task of holding their own in a state where politics has been dominated by two rival regional players - the ruling Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
From being a force to reckon with in the state in the 1990s, thanks to the momentum generated by the 'Ramjanmabhoomi' agitation, the BJP underwent a steep decline in the first decade of the century.
However, expectations have been high since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when the party stunned all by putting up its best-ever performance, winning 71 out of the 78 seats it had contested in the state.
The spectacular comeback owed much to Modi's decision to step out of Gujarat and contest from this eastern UP seat.
The party's performance in the assembly polls in the state - which is the most populous and hence sends maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha - will have a bearing on its future prospects on the national level.
This will be Modi's ninth tour of Varanasi since he became the Prime Minister in May, 2014.
Significantly, tomorrow's visit will also be his fifth since January this year.
The increased frequency of his trips here is seen as one of the many efforts being made by the BJP to improve its tally in the 403-strong UP assembly where it has less than 50 MLAs.
With PTI inputs