Kolkata: Amid high political drama and shifting loyalties in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Kolkata around 1.30 am today on a two-day visit to push forward his agenda of a 200-seat victory in the Assembly election due in four months.
Mr Shah is expected to welcome Suvendu Adhikari, the high profile former Trinamool leader, to the BJP. Mr Adhikari first resigned from the Mamata Banerjee cabinet on November 27 and then from the party on December 16. His associates have promised a “political storm more fierce than Cyclone Amphan” to sweep across Bengal today from Darjeeling to Digha”.
The former Trinamool leader may also bring along several other party leaders. Only yesterday, two MLAs resigned from Trinamool, though Jitendra Tiwari, who had quit a day earlier, returned to his mother party.Before the rally, scheduled for 2 pm, Mr Shah will stop at the Home of Swami Vivekananda around 10 am and then take a helicopter ride to Medinipur town, around 150 km from the city.
At Medinipur, he will garland the statue of freedom fighter Khudiram Bose, offer prayers at two temples, and have lunch at the home of a farmer before arriving at the rally.
On Sunday, he will visit Viswa Bharati University in Bolpur, where he will hold a roadshow.
Mr Shah’s West Bengal visit comes nine days after a convoy of BJP chief JP Nadda was attacked by alleged Trinamool workers, sparking a huge row between the Centre and the state.
Earlier, the state BJP chief, Dilip Ghosh, had said that Mr Shah and Mr Nadda would visit the state every month till the assembly elections, likely in April-May.
The BJP has been investing unprecedented amounts of time and resources in the state ahead of the polls, looking to replace the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress from power.Ahead of Mr Shah’s visit, the party had assigned parts of West Bengal to six Union Ministers to prep for the polls. These ministers have been tasked with taking charge of campaigning in various Lok Sabha seats.