Lucknow: Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set the visit his parliamentary constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, his first since taking over from his her mother Sonia Gandhi.
Rahul will reach Amethi via Rae Bareli for a two-day visit.
He will also be visiting the Hanuman Mandir and eat khichdi, specially prepared for Makar Sankranti.
Amethi and Rae Bareli are considered strongholds of the Congress. Currently Aditi Singh, daughter of five-time MLA Akhilesh Singh is the Congress MLA from Rae Bareli. However, BJP emerged on top in the recently concluded civic elections in Amethi and the current MLA of the area is also from the BJP.
After leaving from Lucknow Airport, Rahul will be welcomed at Salon by Congress workers where a small interaction is on the cards. After this, he will proceed to Munshi Ganj guesthouse while meeting people and party workers on the way. He will then meet some senior party leaders here before calling it day.
After strengthening party in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi will certainly be looking to strengthen party in Uttar Pradesh, where it is not in a very good position at the moment.
Tuesday will be hectic for Rahul with the day starting at Musafirkhana, where he will not just meet people but also hold a roadshow and a padyatra in an effort to reach out to the people of his constituency. After, this Rahul will move towards Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Mohanganj before finally going back to Lucknow.
Of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, Congress managed to win only from Amethi and Rae Bareli. Currently, Sonia is MP from Rae Bareli.
The biggest challenge for Rahul is to strengthen the party in the crucial state with general elections scheduled in 2019.
Making things difficult, Samajwadi Party, their ally during the state Assembly elections in 2017, has expressed desire to go their own in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019. SP national president Akhilesh Yadav has already announced that he is more focused to strengthen the party at the moment and has expressed willingness to take the party solo to electoral hustings. At the same time, Union Minister Smriti Irani could once again contest against Rahul Gandhi from Amethi.