With the Centre unlikely to send an official team to West Bengal to probe the Malda violence, the BJP is all set to raise its political pitch in the poll-bound state. The party has planned four major rallies in January in which its top leaders are expected to highlight the “worsening law and order situation” to attack the Mamata Banerjee government.
While Union Minister Nitin Gadkari will address a rally on January 18 in Dinajpur, Home Minister Rajnath Singh will address a rally in Barasat on January 21, said sources. They added that HRD Minister Smriti Irani and BJP chief Amit Shah will hold rallies on January 22 in Burdwan and on January 25 in Howrah, respectively. The sources further said that the venue of Gadkari’s rally, which was expected to be held in Malda, was shifted to Dinajpur after the state government denied permission to hold it in the violence-hit area.
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Concerned over lost ground in Bengal after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and and the perception that the party was “soft” to the TMC due to compulsions to push legislative agenda in Rajya Sabha, the BJP plans to launch a scathing attack on Banerjee and her policies. “Our main focus will be the worsening law and order situation, the growing anti national forces and the government’s votebank politics,” said a party leader.
“The leaders will also highlight how the Mamata government failed to fulfill its promises. It is no different from the Left Front government. In order to cover up their failure, they are trying to communalise the atmosphere,” he added. Muslims constitute 28 per cent of Bengal’s population.
BJP sources said the party is also likely to invoke Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose during its campaign for the state polls.
A January 3 rally at Kaliachak organised by Anjuman Ahle Sunnatul Jamaat to protest against alleged remarks by Hindu Mahasabha activist Kamalesh Tiwari had turned violent, leading to the torching of vehicles and the local police station.
The BJP has accused the TMC government of protecting those responsible for the violence and alleged that the attackers wanted to burn down the crime records on fake currency racket at the police station.