Varanasi, May 31 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Tuesday had lunch with a Dalit family here as part of the party's mass contact expansion programme ahead of next year's assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Shah was welcomed with drum beats and garlands when he arrived at Jogiyapur village in this district and sat down later with the family of Girija Prasad Bind to have lunch.

The Dalit family is said to be a great supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represents Varanasi in Lok Sabha, and spent most of the previous night preparing for Shah's visit.

Local BJP workers and leaders had started arriving in Jogiyapur on Monday night.

Shah had taken a sacred bath in the Kshipra river with Dalit sadhus at the Simhastha Kumbh in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month.

The BJP president is scheduled to address a public rally in Allahabad on Tuesday evening.