BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be on a day-long visit to West Bengal on October 17. During his public meeting in North Bengal, Shah will take stock of the situation ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections. Through the day in Siliguri, he is expected to attend party meetings, meet prominent citizens, and interact with various stakeholders from the region including, tea estate workers and leaders from the Gorkha community. Those in the know of these developments told CNN-News18 that elaborate preparations are underway.
MP Locket Chatterjee, BJP state office bearer Arvind Menon and a host of others are expected to be camping in the coming few days. State leaders are holding preparatory meetings every day in the build-up to October 17.
Shah will interact with booth to district level presidents, giving them guidance on how to contest the Assembly polls. A total of 54 Assembly seats come under this area with about 300 booths each covering eight districts. The number of people allowed to meet Shah will, however, be restricted in accordance with the Covid-19 protocols.
The saffron party has made significant inroads in North Bengal and won seven out of the eight Lok Sabha seats in 2019. Shah is expected to guide them on how to approach the Assembly polls and devise a strategy to take on a Mamata Banerjee-led TMC, aggressively. He is also likely to remind the cadre of the work done by the Narendra Modi government in the Centre and how Bengal has been a key focus for the government. The Union Home Minister is expected to be flanked by state chief Dilip Ghosh, Vice President Mukul Roy, state in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, state MPs from the region among other state office bearers on the big day.
Notably, in the midst of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Shah had addressed a virtual rally for Bengal on June 9 where he had hit out at Mamata Banerjee and her government saying that his party would return Bengal to its glory. Shah, unfortunately, contracted Covid-19 in the first week of August and since then has been in and out of the hospital twice due to post Covid-19 health complications.
This visit to Bengal will be Amit Shah’s first outing in the last many months and his first to Bengal since March this year. Shah’s last rally in Kolkata was held on March 1 in support of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) at Shahid Minar. It was under his leadership as the BJP chief that the saffron party rose to a party of 18 MPs in 2019 from a mere two in 2014.
Earlier, too, Shah has assured the state unit, led by Dilip Ghosh, that he would spend considerable time with them in the run-up to 2021 state polls.
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