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Rajasthan rolls out the red carpet for BJP chief Amit Shah

The party national president, who arrived on a commercial flight from Delhi around 10.30 am on Friday, is on a three-day visit to Rajasthan.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2017 18:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Amit Shah,BJP president,Mahatma Gandhi
BJP national president Amit Shah waves to supporters as his cavalcade advances from Sanganer airport to the state party office in Jaipur on Friday. (Prabhakar Sharma\ HT Photo)

BJP national president Amit Shah arrived at the Jaipur International Airport to a grand welcome on Friday morning, with many dignitaries – including chief minister Vasundhara Raje and state party chief Ashok Parnami – showing up to receive him.

Shah, who arrived on a commercial flight from Delhi around 10.30 am, is on a three-day visit to Rajasthan.

Members of the BJP Mahila Morcha showered rose petals on the BJP president’s cavalcade when it stopped outside the airport. Upon alighting from his vehicle to greet his well-wishers, Shah was presented with a memento.

The party leader was greeted just as jubilantly at eight places along his route, with helmetless Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists leading the procession on motorcycles all the way from the airport to the state BJP office on Sardar Patel Marg. Aided by traffic police, who diverted traffic at many locations, the cavalcade managed to reach its destination in a little over an hour.

Supporters escort Amit Shah from Sanganer airport to the party office on the first day of his three-day visit to Rajasthan. (Prabhakar Sharma\ HT Photo)

The rain gods threatened to play spoilsport as the cavalcade neared Gandhi Circle, but the downpour stopped just in time for Shah to pay floral tributes to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. He also stopped by the statue of BR Ambedkar at Ambedkar Circle, despite the occurrence of a small goof-up. Sources said Shah quickly paid his respects to the Dalit icon and left, not realising that state social justice minister Arun Chaturvedi and a few others were waiting at the other end of the circle to garland him.

Though Shah later inaugurated the e-library at the state BJP office and chaired a meeting of the party’s core committee, his interaction with mediapersons was limited to smiling at photographers. He will address a press conference at the state BJP office on Sunday afternoon.

Shah, who has his sights set on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is on a whirlwind tour of the country to get direct feedback on the BJP’s prospects and performance from senior party leaders and workers. He also intends to strengthen party functionaries and booth-level units in the run-up to the elections.

State BJP president Ashok Parnami had rectified a faux pas ahead of Shah’s visit on Thursday evening by canceling the appointment of ministers and municipal body chairpersons as party spokespersons. Though he had made the appointments on July 19, it was later pointed out that the Constitution does not allow it.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 18:01 IST