BJP national president Amit Shah, who arrived in Kolkata for a two-day tour on Wednesday, told the state BJP to go all out for next year’s Lok Sabha polls and win not less than 22 of the 42 seats in West Bengal. He also told party leaders that no excuses will be tolerated and instructed them to prepare for a ‘Bengal Yatra’ before the polls.
Shah held meetings with the party’s election management team at the Port Guest House, after which he spoke at a closed-door social media convention. In the evening, he had a meeting with ‘vistaraks’.
“Our party president made it clear that we will have to go all out for all Lok Sabha seats and must win in at least half… People here are ready for a change and not happy with the Trinamool Congress, which is not even allowing people to vote,” said Sayantan Basu, BJP state secretary.
Shah categorically stated that with the way Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party were “targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, there was no question of a compromise or understanding with TMC. Shah’s statement was in reference to some rumours highlighted by BJP leaders over little activity by investigating agencies in the Sarada and Narada scams (allegedly involving TmC bigwigs). Keeping the Lok Sabha polls in mind, state BJP leaders have been asked to prepare for a Bengal Yatra, covering all 42 seats in the state.
According to senior party leaders, Shah came down heavily on state leaders and urged them to have a result-oriented approach in Bengal. “He clearly stated that no excuses will be accepted,” said a senior BJP leader who was present at the meeting.
Apart from Basu, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and Rajya Sabha MP Roopa Ganguly were present at the meeting.
Delivering the first Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay Memorial Lecture, organised by the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Shah said the Congress had neglected the ideals of author Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and censored part of Vande Mataram to suit its appeasement policy. This, according to him, was what led to Partition.