With the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the recently concluded assembly polls in three Hindi heartland states behind him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Rae Bareli, the stronghold of the Congress party on Sunday, where he is slated to launch a slew of projects and address a public meeting as well. Rae Bareli, a bastion of the Gandhi-Nehru family, is currently represented in the Lok Sabha by former party president Sonia Gandhi.

The Prime Minister’s visit to Rae Bareli is not without its political significance. Not only will it be  Modi’s maiden visit to the Congress citadel — Rae Bareli and Amethi were the two constituencies won by the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections  — since taking over as the prime minister, he is also likely to lay out the roadmap for the 2019 polls. Both the constituencies rank high in the BJP’s scheme of things, vis-à-vis next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

The Gandhi bastion has been decked up for the PM’s maiden visit, with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath himself having overseen the preparations. Included in this are the hoardings, billboards, and banners etc. with life-size photographs of the PM welcoming him to Rae Bareli. BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey and other leaders have also thrown their weight behind the CM in what is expected to be a massive show of strength by the BJP in UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s constituency.

The traditional bastion of the Gandhi’s will see the inauguration of projects worth Rs1100 crore.

In Rae Bareli, the PM is scheduled to visit the Modern Rail Coach Factory which has earned a distinction for itself on account of its two robotic production lines. This is the first coach factory in the country where practically the whole production is done by robots. Very few countries can boast of this kind of production. Modi’s visit to this coach factory is not without meaning. It is aimed to send out a message to the countrymen and to the world of the rapid strides made under the BJP regime. It is expected that the PM will make an announcement on doubling the production of the RCF to 2000 coaches annually.

The PM is expected to flag off the Humsafar Express, a third AC long-haul train service that will connect Rae Bareli to Delhi and Prayagraj, formerly Allahabad, during the Kumbh season. This economical train service boasts of TV screens, coffee vending machines, hot cases etc.

The renovated 133 km Rae Bareli stretch of the National Highway 232, which will link Bundelkhand, Chitrakoot, Lucknow, and Purvanchal in Uttar Pradesh, will be thrown open by the prime minister.