Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah on wednesday embarked on his maiden visit to Uttar Pradesh after taking charge of BJP's affairs in this politically sensitive state voicing optimism that "foundation" for NDA's poll victory in 2014 would be laid in UP.
The visit came three days after Modi was elevated as chairman of BJP's national campaign committee which triggered the resignation of party patriarch L K Advani who has since agreed not to press for it to end a two-day crisis.
"I have come to UP for the first time but I want to say that the solid foundation of the next NDA government under the leadership of BJP in 2014 would be laid from UP," Shah, who arrived here to a rousing reception by party workers and leaders, said in his brief interaction with the media.
It is the first visit of Shah to UP after his appointment as the in-charge of the crucial state where maximum number of Lok Sabha seats(80) are at stake. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had won 10 seats and was behind ruling SP and Mayawati's BSP.
Shah's ability to revive the BJP in UP will be seen as a measure of whether Modi can play a large political role outside his home state.
On a two-day visit here, Shah is due to meet the party office bearers of UP's BJP unit followed by an interaction with senior state leaders including Lalji Tandon, Kalraj Misra, Om Prakash Singh to evolve party strategies.
The BJP general secretary will also take part in a legislature party meeting tomorrow, party sources said.
Shah, who was the minister of state for home in Gujarat, is an accused in two fake encounter cases in his state and his currently out on bail.
He faces a daunting task of tackling factionalism in the party state unit and prepare it for the next parliamentary elections.