3-Day Tour to Focus on North Region, Energising Party Cadre


With the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) focus on North Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to begin his three-day visit of the state on May 4.

Shah will reach Kolkata on May 4, attend a Border Security Force (BSF) programme in North 24 Parganas Hingalgunj and a rally in North Bengal on May 5. He will also meet community leaders. On May 6, he will go to Teenbigha corridor and meet the BSF personnel. He will then return to Kolkata and meet state leaders. He is expected to visit the outifit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent body of the BJP, in Bengal too.

In the 2019 general elections, the BJP scored maximum seats in North Bengal and did well in 2021 elections too.

FOCUS AREA

This is Shah’s first visit to Bengal after the poll results. His rally is being held in North Bengal as the BJP feels it is their stronghold. North Bengal has more than 50% Rajbongshis (bhumiputras), who prefer the BJP. Rajbongshi leader Ananta Maharaj had good ties with Shah which helped the party. Shah also visited Maharaj’s residence in Assam for lunch during the assembly poll campaign.

After the Bengal Assembly election results, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) tried to get in touch with Ananta Maharaj. On the invitation of Maharaj, WB CM Mamata Banerjee visited Coochbehar on the birth anniversary of warrior Chilapata Roy.

When News18 got in touch with Ananta Maharaj he said: “I have not received any invitation from Shah, if I receive it, we will see.”

FIGHT AMONG FACTIONS

The differences between former state party president Dilip Ghosh and now president Sukanto Majumdar are out in the open. Moreover, a lot of TMC leaders who joined the BJP before the Assembly polls have returned to the party. Shah is likely to meet organisational leaders to boost the cadre.

From Shantanu Thakur to Arjun Singh, the members of parliament (MP), too, are unhappy and have their own demands. Thakur wants the Citizenship Amendment Act to be implemented, while Singh recently protested against the jute pricing.

A senior leader told News18: “Party workers are eagerly waiting to hear from Shah and how he expects us to fight back. There are so many cases against us. The post-poll violence victims are still homeless.”

After the elections, the change of guard in the BJP, too, has caused discontent, say insiders.

Kunal Ghosh, general secretary of TMC, said, “They have lost the plot. Shah’s visit will not help.”

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