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Date issue defers Union minister visit

Ranchi, Aug. 3: A host of BJP leaders and Union ministers are eager to visit poll-bound Jharkhand, but the state unit, apparently busy in preparations for a series of pre-scheduled programmes, has expressed its inability to extend warm receptions to all.

Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh wanted to visit Jharkhand on August 5. However, sources in the state BJP said they were busy preparing for the Assembly gherao on August 5 to protest the deteriorating law and order, the BJP national council meeting on August 9 and the proposed visit of party’s new national president Amit Shah on August 24.

As such, the state BJP has no time to greet the Union agriculture minister, they added.

“On August 5, we will gherao the Vidhan Sabha. Thereafter, we will be busy with the BJP national council meeting to be held in Delhi on August 9,” said state BJP general secretary Ganesh Mishra.

This apart, Mishra added that the success of party national president Shah’s maiden visit to Ranchi was also very important for them.

According to sources, Singh, probably the first Union minister who agreed to come on an official tour to Jharkhand after the Narendra Modi government took charge, had also suggested other alternative dates, but in vain.

The BJP general secretary added that a number of Union ministers were likely to visit the state in the coming days to take stock of the party’s preparations for the Assembly polls.

When contacted, state BJP president Ravindra Rai sought to downplay the date issue and said preparations were on in full swing for the success of all scheduled programmes.

Another senior BJP leader pointed out that according to the party’s new policy, central ministers would get charge of different Assembly constituencies in states headed for polls. Ministers concerned will have to spend a day in their assigned domains and listen to party workers and masses.

Jharkhand, the leader claimed, tops the priority for the central leadership with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh apparently taking keen interest in the state’s affairs.

Even Shah’s visit is being perceived as the BJP central leadership’s bid to ensure proper preparations for the polls.


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