Riding high on India’s air strike in Balakot and the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally on Sunday in Amethi, the parliamentary constituency of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The PM will also lay the foundation stone of several projects including the up gradation of the Korwa ordnance factory.

This will be PM Modi’s first visit to Amethi since he assumed charge as PM. He had last visited the place in 2014 to campaign for the BJP candidate Smriti Irani who had contested unsuccessfully against the Congress president. Irani has been visiting the constituency regularly amidst speculations that she will be the BJP’s candidate this time around too. PM Modi’s rally is expected to make the winnability quotient better for her.

In Uttar Pradesh elections 2017, the BJP had won four of the five Assembly seats which make for the Amethi parliamentary constituency. The fifth seat had been won by the Samajwadi Party. The BJP is hopeful that Modi’s rally will give the party the required push to make the task easier for its candidate.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey had visited Amethi Thursday last ostensibly to attend the prime minister’s video conference of BJPs “Mera Booth Sabse Mazboot” programme. However, they also took stock of the preparations which were underway for the PM’s rally. The rally will be held in Gauriganj at the Kauhar ground which can accommodate 1.5 lakh people. Party leaders have reportedly been directed to ensure a massive turn out for the rally.

Amongst a slew of projects for which the foundation stones will be laid by the PM, the most significant is the up gradation of the Korwa factory set up in 2010. Once upgraded, around 7.5 lakh units of the latest version of AK-47 will be manufactured here with Russian collaboration.

Amethi figures prominently in the BJP’s scheme of things for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, which, according to the Election Commission of India, would be held on time. Barring in 1977 when Jana Sangh’s Ravindra Pratap Singh won from Amethi, and in 1998 when Sanjay Singh emerged victorious, the constituency is considered the political bastion of Gandhi family. But, following the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, Amethi has been nurtured by the BJP with Union Minister Smriti Irani undertaking frequent visits to the constituency. Irani’s visits to Amethi and her interaction with the people were indications that she is likely to be the party’s candidate from Amethi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.