BJP plans protest rallies in West Bengal in bid to quell infighting

Home Minister Amit Shah also likely to embark on a three-day visit to the state

The Union home minister is likely to visit the state on May 4 | File Photo

The West Bengal unit of the BJP is set to launch several protest rallies in May, with Home Minister Amit Shah also likely to embark on a three-day visit to the state.

It will be Shah’s first visit since last year’s assembly election.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting with party leaders, state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said: “The Union home minister is likely to visit the state on May 4. During his three-day visit, he will hold meetings with the state party leadership and attend some official programmes in both north and south Bengal.”

Shah is expected to visit BSF cantonment areas in north Bengal, Majumdar said. “We may hold a programme in Kolkata, where he will meet party leaders, and hold meetings in south Bengal. He is also likely to meet party MLAs and MPs from the state.”

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The minister will “give us a direction and help us prepare a roadmap for the panchayat elections next year”, Majumdar said.

Shah’s visit will come against the backdrop of infighting in the party and the exodus of leaders from the state committee. Party MP Saumitra Khan, national secretary Anupam Hazra and several others have raised a banner of revolt against the state leadership following the party’s defeat in the recent bypolls in Asansol and Ballygunge. Also, several MLAs, including Gouri Sankar Ghosh, left the state committee after differences with the state BJP leadership.

The rallies will coincide with the first anniversary of the widespread post-poll violence in West Bengal following the declaration of the assembly election results in May last year.

“On May 2, we will hold a mega rally in Kolkata with our workers, who were made victims of the post-poll violence. On May 3, we will reach out to the people of Bengal, seeking their help for our affected cadres. On May 7, all party leaders, including MPs and MLAs, will visit the families of those party workers who were killed in the post-poll violence and distribute clothes and money. On May 10, a few violence-hit family members will visit Kolkata and after an agitation programme, the members will call on the governor,” Majumdar said.

On May 8, 9 and 11, the party will hold rallies across the state against the alleged violence by the state government. “Ever since the TMC came to power on May 2, post-poll violence and other atrocities continued unabated. We call it a Black Day. To protest the killings and violence, we will hold rallies in every block across the state,” he said.

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