In a fillip to the West Bengal unit of the BJP ahead of the 2021 assembly elections, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be on a two-day visit to the state from November 5 to take stock of the party's organisational matters, sources said. In a late-night development on Friday, West Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said the scheduled visit of its national president J P Nadda from November 6 stood cancelled.
"J P Nadda Ji's visit stands cancelled as of now. It has been decided that Amit Shah ji will be in West Bengal on a two-day visit from November 5. "He is likely to visit Medinipur organisational district on November 5 and on the next day he will meet party leaders in the state. The schedule has not been finalised as of now," Basu said.
After the ongoing Bihar Asembly elections, electoral battlelines will be drawn in West Bengal, where the polls are likely to be held in April-May next year. Shah will look into various organisational aspects and discuss the party's strategy for the upcoming assembly elections, BJP national general secretary and in-charge of Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya, said.
"It will be more or less indoor programmes. There are chances that he might address a press conference in Kolkata," he said. During the visit, Shah, along with senior party leaders such as Vijayvargiya, vice-president Mukul Roy and state president Dilip Ghosh, will interact with booth and district-level leaders, sources said.
Although Shah had addressed a virtual rally for West Bengal earlier this year, this will be his first visit to the state after the coronavirus-induced lockdown. He had last visited West Bengal on March 1. The home minister's visit next week assumes immense significance as West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been criticising the "worsening" law and order situation in the state.
State BJP leaders have also been demanding imposition of President's Rule, citing "breakdown of the rule of law". Dhankhar had on Thursday met Shah in New Delhi and discussed the "state of affairs" in West Bengal.
On the organisational front, Shah's visit comes just days after the party's state unit witnessed a major organisational change, as incumbent state general secretary (organisation) Subrata Chattopadhyay was removed and his deputy Amitava Chakraborty was elevated to the post by the central leadership.
After having a limited presence in the politically polarised state for decades, the BJP emerged as the main rival to the ruling Trinamool Congress, winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the 2019 general elections. With the BJP's strength increasing manifold in the state in the last few years, where it has never been in power, party leaders have exuded confidence that it will end Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's 10-year rule in the assembly elections.
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