statesman news service
LUCKNOW, 12 JUNE: With a clear-cut brief to ensure maximum Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh, BJPs campaign committee chairman Narendra Modi’s most trusted aide, Mr Amit Shah (file photo), today made his maiden appearance as in-charge of the state. 
He spelt out two programmes explicitly aimed at connecting the BJP with the electorate.
The first is directed towards the rural masses and is aimed at off setting the prevailing perception of the BJP being an essentially urban based party. It also aims to create a base for the saffron outfit amongst the farming community. 
The second is essentially a show of strength.
Briefing mediapersons about the two rounds of meeting which Mr Shah held with the BJP office-bearers, including district and city chiefs and heads of various cells, state president Laxminchand Bajpai said the party will launch an all-India  movement from 31 October to collect half kg of iron from every village. The country has five lakh villages. The iron so collected will make its way to Gujarat, the hometown of Narendra Modi. 
The iron will be melted and used for making a statue of India’s Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The late leader’s statue will be erected at the Sardar Sarovar dam and will be known as the Statue of Unity. The height of the statue will be such that it can be seen from a distance of 50 km.
Mr Bajpai said 31 October was specifically chosen as it coincided with Patel’s birth anniversary.
The iron collection programme will end on 26 January 2014, which is the election year. The state president said the BJP was focusing on farmers as other political parties were not concerned about their welfare. They (parties) were more into pursuing the policy of Muslim appeasement and release of terrorists, he said.
Mr Bajpai said Mr Shah also apprised the office-bearers of the jail bharo andolan which was supposed to be held in May but was subsequently postponed. 
Mr Bajpai said the party’s jail bharo andolan will begin on the night of 26 June which was also the day when the Emergency was imposed in the country. The workers in all the districts have been asked to court arrest in large numbers.
The state president said Mr Shah, along with his UP co-incharges Rameshwar Chaurasiya and Satyendra Kushwaha, dwelt on the organisational and political condition of the party in UP.
Mr Bajpai said the assemblage was told to ensure party workers adopt at least one booth as their own. There are a total of 1.72 lakh booths. Mr Shah said if the workers take on this job sincerely then the victory of the party in the Lok Sabha election was assured.
Mr Bajpai said it was also made clear that candidates will have to work in accordance with the rules and the guidelines laid down by the party.
He evaded direct response to a query on whether Mr Modi will contest from Lucknow. He said such decisions are taken by the central leadership.
Mr Shah will meet Mr Kalyan Singh and some other senior party leaders, including Lalji Tandon, Kesrinath Tripathi and Kalraj Mishra, today evening to get feedback about the party’s organisational strength and weaknesses.