The West Bengal government has said that with BJP’s central ministers and MPs coming to the state on their party’s behalf “to further their political agenda”, the state will not bear the cost for the government amenities, sources said here on Sunday. The said amenities are usually provided to ministers coming on behalf of the government.
After the party’s success in Uttar Pradesh, BJP had recently made it clear that their next target was gaining ground in West Bengal. Consequently, BJP state secretary Sayantan Basu said that “other than the PM, national party president, all national leaders” and central ministers would also visit Lok Sabha seats in Bengal to talk about the Centre’s welfare schemes and the “prevailing corruption”.
Although the party’s state unit had prepared a list of 36 central leaders, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani, to visit the state, they had got confirmation from only 13 till Wednesday evening. According to the party, Rajnath and Smriti have not confirmed their visit. Among those who have are Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of State M J Akbar and Jayant Sinha.
The trigger for the state government’s decision was information received by it that Union MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, who arrived in Siuri in Bengal on Sunday, had requested that he use the state circuit house to rest during his visit to the area in Birbhum district. The government’s response, according to a source was that “we have no issue with anyone from the Centre using state government’s amenities, but they will have to pay”.