In a crucial development, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national chief Amit Shah will visit Amritsar on December 25 to take stock of the ongoing membership drive through which the saffron party is making efforts to strengthen its grip in the state ahead of assembly polls.
According to the itinerary issued by Shah's office, during the one-day tour, his first after taking over as national chief, Shah will chair the meeting of state officer bearers, relating to the membership drive and will also take feedback about the functioning of the government and the emerging political scenario in the state.
"Amit Shah is coming to check the ongoing membership drive. The party has a special software through which he, and the state presidents, can access the block-wise data of the membership and on December 25, he will give directions to the state office bearers to further increase our base. He will also discuss the constituency-wise data of membership," state BJP chief Kamal Sharma told HT.
Sharma also disclosed that apart from the membership drive, Shah would take stock of the party activities in Punjab and share the role of party workers in the present political scenario in the state and the nation.
Former MP of the BJP, Sudha Yadav, has been appointed the incharge for the visit.
BJP gears up
In view of talks of the BJP contesting the next assembly polls without its partner SAD in Punjab, sources in the party say the high command has instructed the state unit to first gain ground at the grassroots level.
It is for this reason that the state leadership does not want to leave any stone unturned to achieve the membership target of 21 lakh from the state.
The party has also linked the membership drive to the burning issue of drugs in Punjab and sources say that during the December 25 visit, the state BJP leadership is also planning to take up the issue with Shah.
Visit to check progress
Sources said that according to the latest figures in Punjab, more than 4 lakh members had been registered by the BJP and the state was ahead of Himachal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in the membership drive in which Uttar Pradesh and Delhi are leading.
According to the BJP top brass, Shah's maiden visit points to the effort of the party high command to take stock of the ground reality with alliance partner SAD. Reportedly, Kamal Sharma also met Shah on Monday evening in Delhi to discuss his impending visit.
Even though the SAD leadership has rubbished reports of the BJP high command being upset with it over various issues, political analysts feel Shah's visit would clarify many "confusing" questions about the relationship between the SAD and the BJP.
BJP's power in the state has increased after the alliance performed poorly in the Lok Sabha polls and its leadership has tried to corner the SAD on various issues, especially drugs.