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 will head to Amethi, while as BJP's Smriti Irani will land at 10:20 am.
Rahul is scheduled to address a meeting at Salon in Amethi. Post this, he will head to Parshdepur, Naseerabad, Paraiyya Namaksar before going to the district headquarters 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, Rahul 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 our National President 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, Smriti 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 regular to Amethi 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 Smriti Irani against Rahul Gandhi. Irani lost the electoral battle, but continued making regular visits to the constituency.