A series of meeting will be held by the state unit of the party to finalise the programme and send across a message to the public that it has not been cowed by what it has termed as an anti-democratic stand by the state government.
Having suffered a major setback after the Supreme Court found merit in the Mamata Banerjee government’s concerns that the proposed Rath Yatra by the Bharatiya Janata Party could result in a law and order issue, the saffron party has planned a counter by holding a series of meetings and rallies in West Bengal, a state that assumes clear significance in the Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP has drawn up an elaborate plan to kick-start its poll campaign in West Bengal. A series of meetings are being held by the state unit of the party to finalise the programme and send across a message to the public that it has not been cowed by what it has termed as an anti-democratic stand by the state government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are also to attend some of the meetings. The campaign is set to begin with a rally by BJP president Amit Shah in the Malda district on January 20.
BJP President Dilip Ghosh informed FinancialExpress.com, “Our president will address rallies in Bengal from 20 to 22 January. On 20th he will address a rally in Malda. There are two rallies on 21st, one in Suri of Birbhum and the other one in Jhargram district. Two more rallies are to be organised in Jayanagar of South 24 Parganas and Krishnanagar of Nadia district on 22nd.”
Amidst reports of Amit Shah being hospitalised in AIIMS Delhi, the state president told FinancialExpress.com, “We are aware of the situation, and will anyway organise the rallies unless we are being informed otherwise. The National BJP will let us know in due course, if at all there are any changes.”
Ghosh also added, “PM Narendra Modi is also likely to attend a public rally on February 8, which will be organised at Brigade parade ground in Kolkata. We have informed the Prime Minister’s Office with the tentative date, however, they are yet to confirm that.”
BJP Mahila Morcha is set to conduct a door-to-door campaign, while the other wings of the party are to hold public meetings and motorcycle rallies across the state.
The state leadership of BJP has also sought permission for a new ‘rath yatra’ schedule for the state government. State president for BJP also said, “The party has submitted a new 10-12 days schedule for a four-phased ‘rath yatra’ to the state government. We are organising rallies anyway, and if the state government approves of the proposed Rath Yatra, we will adjust it with our already scheduled rallies.” This came after the Supreme court put the ‘rath yatra’ on hold requesting them to submit a fresh request saying, that the government’s consternation about the law and order situation in the state is “not totally unfound”.
The party has planned to take out for chariots from Krishnanagar, Cooch Bihar, Kakdwip and Birbhum district.
While the national party has marked West Bengal as a ‘priority state’ for the upcoming elections and targetted 22 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats, Parth Chatterjee, TMC General Secretary told PTI, “BJP’s attempts to communalise the environment of West Bengal will not succeed.”