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regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

BJP gears up for mega rally in Calcutta, likely to set tone for party's Lok Sabha campaign in Bengal

Sources within the BJP revealed that Amit Shah will arrive at the city airport on Wednesday afternoon, travel to Maidan in a helicopter, and then proceed to the rally venue in a motorcade

PTI Calcutta Published 28.11.23, 07:09 PM
Amit Shah.

Amit Shah. File picture

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is set to address a mega rally in the metropolis on Wednesday, potentially setting the tone for the party's campaign for next year's Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal.

Preparations are underway for the mega rally at Esplanade on November 29, where Shah is expected to set the tone for the BJP's electoral strategy in the state.

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BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar told PTI, "Amit Shah Ji will be addressing the rally. He is likely to set the tone for next year's Lok Sabha polls in Bengal. During a rally in April, he had set a target for us to win more than 35 seats from the state." The BJP had won 18 out of the 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state in 2019.

Majumdar, during preparatory programmes for the rally, emphasized that the event would reflect public discontent against alleged corruption by TMC leaders and ministers since 2011, their involvement in scams, and the arrest of numerous ruling party figures in graft cases.

Despite attempts by the TMC to stall the rally, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari confirmed that the Calcutta High Court overturned those pleas.

Supporters and activists have already begun gathering for the event.

Sources within the BJP revealed that Shah will arrive at the city airport on Wednesday afternoon, travel to Maidan in a helicopter, and then proceed to the rally venue in a motorcade. He is expected to depart on the same day.

The state administration had initially contested the saffron camp's rally at the same venue where the TMC holds its 'Martyrs' rally on July 21 each year.

However, the Calcutta High Court, both in a single bench and division bench, permitted the BJP's event.

TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said, "Why would we be afraid of Amit Shah's visit? Is Gabbar Singh (a character from the film Sholay) coming to Kolkata?" Hakim dismissed concerns about the rally affecting the party's stronghold, asserting that the BJP's campaign efforts during the 2021 assembly polls yielded no substantial results.

Shah's visit to West Bengal aligns with the party's focus on strengthening its organisational machinery in the state ahead of the parliamentary elections.

The state unit has faced challenges in maintaining unity following defections, notably by former Union minister Babul Supriyo, party MP Arjun Singh, and six MLAs who switched to the TMC after the 2021 assembly poll results.

In 2021, the Trinamool Congress, led by Mamata Banerjee, secured a third consecutive victory, capturing 213 seats. The TMC's campaign capitalised on the 'Bengali Pride' theme, countering BJP's identity politics with a narrative of sub-nationalism.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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