New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch his aggressive election campaign for forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha Polls from Raebareli — the stronghold of UPA chairperson and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Sunday. Notably, PM Modi’s visit comes days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a humiliating defeat in three major Hindi heartland states– Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

This will be the Modi’s maiden visit to the constituency, represented by Gandhi and other members of her family. His visit to Raebareli is being seen as a strategy of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to pin the Congress leadership in their respective constituencies in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

During his visit to Congress’ stronghold, PM Modi will flag off the Humsafar Express and lay the foundation stone and inaugurate projects worth Rs 1,100 crore including 133-km Rae Bareli stretch of National Highway 232, an important link among Bundelkhand, Chitrakoot, Lucknow and Purvanchal areas in Uttar Pradesh. The newly widened highway is expected to reduce travel time from Banda to Raebareli to 2.5 hours from 7-8 hours.

“Prime Minister Modi will dedicate to the nation the newly widened and rehabilitated Raebareli-Fatehpur-Banda section of NH-232 at an event in Raebareli on Sunday, the 16th of December. The 133-km project has been completed at a cost of about Rs 558 crore,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.

The highway is two-laned with paved shoulder and includes a 4-lane stretch of 2-km in the urban part of Banda city. There are two 2 bypasses — an 11 km one for the city of Fatehpur and 5-km one for Lalganj, Raebareli. There are also two Rail-Over-Bridges (ROB) at Lalganj and Fatehpur. The highway will also cut down traffic congestion, reduce pollution and cut down fuel consumption.

Apart from this, PM Modi will also hold a public meeting, wherein he is expected to talk about the ‘corruption charges surrounding the Gandhi family’.

“No constituency or area is anyone’s personal fiefdom. Raebareli and Amethi had lacked on development for decades. Prime Minister’s visit to the town is in tune to our promise of bringing development back to this region,” a leading portal quoted BJP spokesperson Dr Chandra Mohan.

After Raebareli, the prime minister will also visit Prayagraj (Allahabad) on the same day to monitor the preparations of Kumbh Mela. He will also address a public gathering in Jhunsi area. Later in the month, he will also be visiting his constituency Varanasi and address a rally in the eastern UP town of Ghazipur.

(With inputs from agencies)