With the intention of making huge inroads into West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning to hold a total of 310 rallies in the state ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, party sources told The Indian Express.
The BJP, they said, considers West Bengal as the top priority, with the state leadership targeting 22 out of 42 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. At present, BJP holds two seats in the state.
The BJP and the ruling TMC have been at loggerheads in the state, with the saffron party accusing CM Banerjee of not allowing BJP’s Rath Yatra.
Kicking off his party’s campaign, BJP president Amit Shah had fired a broadside at the state government for denying permission to his party to hold Rath yatras.
“Mamata Banerjee got scared and did not allow us to take out Rath Yatras here. She was certain that if we take out the yatras then it will signal her antim yatra (last journey). If you stop us from taking out Raths, then we will take out rallies and hold meetings… You cannot stop us from coming to Bengal. The more you stop us and beat up our workers, the more lotus will bloom in Bengal,” Shah had said while addressing a rally in Malda.
He also lashed out at CM Banerjee for forging a grand alliance against the BJP-led NDA government and described it as a selfish tie-up.
On Monday, the BJP had cancelled a rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled for February 8 at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Grounds. The Prime Minister will instead address a public meeting in Asansol the same day, state party chief Dilip Ghosh said.
Two other Modi rallies will be held as scheduled, Ghosh said. “The Prime Minister will attend a public meeting in Siliguri on January 28, and another at Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district on January 31,” he said.