Amit Shah mostly missing in UP

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Amit Shah, who has the responsibility to strengthen the organisation ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in UP, has yet to spend much time in the state.

In the seven months since he was appointed the BJP's UP in-charge, Shah has paid a total of 24 visits to the state which include five for party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's rallies in Kanpur, Jhansi, Agra, Bahraich and Varanasi.

When he was appointed the UP in-charge on May 19, 2013, he had announced to be in the state for at least 20 days every month and submit a report of his visit to the central leadership.

He had then allotted three tasks to party leaders and workers setting up booth level committees across the state, create a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore for organisational expenses and seek public support for Modi.

According to details, Shah has visited UP 15 times for organisational work and these visits were on June 13, July 30, October 4, December 21 and December 31 in Lucknow, in Meerut on July 2, in Faizabad on July 6, in Gorakhpur on July 7, in Jhansi on September 1, in Kanpur on October 3, in Bareilly on October 5, on October 8 & 9 in Varanasi and Allahabad, respectively, and on December 19 in Ghaziabad.

Besides these, he had come to Lucknow on June 26 with national president Rajnath Singh to flag off the relief materials for Uttarakhand flood victims and once to Lakhimpur Kheri on December 3 to meet the family of a cane farmer who had allegedly committed suicide over heavy debts.

Sources in the party say Shah's absence has hampered organisational activities as only 72 per cent booth committees have so far been formed while the party has extended December 31, 2013 deadline of collection of Rs 50 crore to March 31.

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