With bypolls to the two Assembly seats in West Bengal scheduled on September 13, the resurgent BJP does not want to leave any thing to chance. The party has now asked Union Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, who would make his maiden visit to Bengal on August 24 to attend two programmes — one by a management institute and another by the association of chartered accountants — to address an intellectuals’ meet in the state the same day.
“The intellectuals’ meet would be held at Purbanchal Vidyamandir at Kankurgachi. The meeting won’t have any outsiders. Only those members of the party who have excelled in various walks of life such as films, theatre, sports, former MPs and MLAs would attend the meet,” said state BJP chief Rahul Sinha. He said Jaitley’s address to the 500-strong gathering won’t be interactive as has been sought by some party leaders.
The members of the party’s minority cell won’t be attending the event. “Only the very important leaders of the state BJP would be attending the function. We will give it a miss. As it is, we will busy preparing for another event of the minority cell we have on August 25,” said Shakeel Ansari, state president, BJP minority cell.
Party’s central observer for Bengal, Siddarth Nath Singh said Jaitley’s speech will focus on the bypolls. “Jaitley would speak about how to increase the organisational strength ahead of the election. His message to BJP workers would be to roll up their sleeves and help the party achieve its deserving position,” Singh said.
Party workers, however, are still expecting that it would be an interactive session. “We would like it to be an interaction session, otherwise it won’t be interesting,” said senior BJP leader Bikram Sarkar.
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Former MLA Barry O’ Brien, who recently joined BJP, said. “After the ‘poribartan’ three years ago, people have realised that it had been a disaster and they are now looking at BJP for the real change. Jaitley’s visit would be one of the first by a national leader to set the ball rolling in that direction. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all union leaders to go to party offices of different states to help strengthen the party,” O’Brien said.