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Amit Shah arrives in Bhopal on a three-day visit to Madhya Pradesh amid rousing welcome

The visit is part of his 110-day nationwide tour to strengthen the party ahead of 2019 general elections

india Updated: Aug 18, 2017 20:38 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
BJP president,Amit Shah,Shivraj Singh Chouhan
BJP national president Amit Shah being welcomed by party supporters in Bhopal on Friday. He is on a three-day visit to Madhya Pradesh . (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

A horse broke into a jig while Muslim women showered flowers as the ruling BJP on Friday pulled out all the stops to give a rousing welcome to party national president Amit Shah to Bhopal on a three-day visit to Madhya Pradesh.

The visit is part of his 110-day nationwide tour to strengthen the party ahead of 2019 general elections. Shah set a target of winning over 350 parliamentary seats in the elections.

Scores of welcome stalls dotted the 12 km-stretch of road from airport to the party headquarters at the capital city’s Pandit Deendayal Parisar.

All along the route, youth wing members of the BJP and people from Old Bhopal followed Shah’s motorcade on two-wheelers and jeeps, trying to take selfies with Shah’s vehicle as and when it slowed down.

It took Shah nearly one-and-a-half hour to complete the journey as his motorcade had to be slowed down in front of welcome stalls put up by various wings of the BJP, local politicians and social organisations. They competed with each others to get the party president’s attention.

The minority wing of the BJP tried to catch Shah’s attention with a horse that danced to the tune of the beating drums, while others organised traditional and tribal dances.

On VIP Road, many burqa-clad women from old city area, welcomed Shah showering flowers on his vehicle.

On the way, Shah garlanded the statue of Raja Bhoj and paid tributes to the legendary king after whom the city was named ‘Bhojpal,’ which eventually became Bhopal.

On the Link Road Number 1, some party activists donned the tiger attire to perform ‘bagh nritya’ (tiger dance). On the same stretch of road, supporters of Vishwas Sarang, the minister of state for panchayat and rural development, were holding colourful umbrellas with welcome messages for Shah.

But the gala welcome was not without its share of uneasiness for the BJP. One Dalit leader Amit Tavre managed to put up hoardings at few points along Shah’s route highlighting alleged discrimination he was subjected to.

Earlier on his arrival at 9.15am, Shah was received at the airport by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan and other senior party leaders.

On his way to the party office, the BJP president unveiled a statue of party ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya at Lal Ghat Square.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 20:29 IST