Lucknow: Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport in Lucknow is all set to welcome two leaders of arch-rivals Congress and BJP. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and union textile minister Smriti Irani will land here within a gap of 20 minutes before heading towards Amethi on Friday.
This will be probably for the first time in the recent past when Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi and 2014 runner up Smriti Irani will be present there on the same day.
Rahul Gandhi will be on a two-day visit of his Parliamentary constituency. He will reach Lucknow Airport at 10am and head to Amethi, while BJP’s Smriti Irani will land at 10:20 am.
Gandhi is scheduled to address a meeting at Salon in Amethi. Post this, he will head to Parshdepur, Naseerabad and Paraiyya Namaksar areas before going to the district headquarters in Gauriganj, where he will attend the oath-taking ceremony of newly-appointed members of Gauriganj Lawyers Association.
On the final day of his Amethi visit, Gandhi will meet local workers and common people after which he will attend a function by Musafirkhana Lawyers Association.
Speaking to News18, Congress Spokesperson Anshu Awasthi said, “We will be reaching Lucknow Airport along with our state President Raj Babbar to welcome Rahul Gandhi. Thousands of Congress workers will reach the Airport to welcome Rahul Ji as this is his maiden visit post win in three states.”
In Amethi, Irani will be inaugurating a CT Scan facility at District Hospital Gauriganj. She will then head to participate in a blanket distribution programme. The Union Textile Minister will then go to Jagdishpur for a meeting with the local BJP workers. Smriti will then head back to Lucknow to finally take her flight back to Delhi.
Taking a jibe at the Congress, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “Smriti ji has been visiting Amethi regularly unlike Rahul Gandhi and that is why we don’t believe in hosting a grand welcome. Smriti ji has been committed to people of Amethi even after being the runner up in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”
The BJP had made a strong push for Amethi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, fielding Irani against Gandhi. Irani lost the electoral battle but continued making regular visits to the constituency.