Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Shah, Jaitley to visit Bengal; Vardhan wants to but ‘govt not interested’

Express News Service | Kolkata | Posted: August 7, 2014 5:41 am

To give the party’s “growing popularity” in West Bengal a fillip, top BJP leaders will visit the state in August end and beginning of September when they are scheduled to hold interactive sessions with state leaders.

Bengal’s BJP president Rahul Sinha, who returned on Wednesday from his trip to New Delhi where he met the central leadership, confirmed the upcoming visits of Union Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and party’s national president Amit Shah.

While Jaitley will lead an interactive programme, the venue for which is yet to be decided, on August 24, Shah will chair a BJP state committee conference on September 6 in Siliguri. The latter, reportedly, will also address the public the next day (September 7) at Siliguri’s Bagha Jatin Park.

Coming from his Delhi trip, Sinha spoke of the senior leaders’ “positive attitude” and of the “optimism” in the central camp towards the upcoming polls in Bengal – 2015 municipal polls and the 2016 Assembly elections.

Sinha also talked about his 40-minute-long meeting with Shah where he promised “all help” and suggested “a two-pronged strategy” for West Bengal – beginning now to the municipal elections, and then from there until the Assembly polls.

Moreover, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, too, would visit the state to take stock of the outbreak of Japanese Encephalitis. “Dr Vardhan showed me two letters that he had written to the state government offering help to contain the situation but the state has been denying there is any emergency-type situation here. He wants to come to Bengal and initiate several health projects with the state-Centre participation but the government here is not interested.”

Sinha, however, chose to not comment on All India Trinmaool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy’s unconfirmed meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday. “I have no idea about it and (so) I would not like to comment,” he said. Other state leaders, however, admitted that such a meeting did take place but played it down. “It is a democracy. Can’t a senior member of a party meet a minister from another party? asked a senior leader.

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