BJP national president Amit Shah will be in Kolkata on Saturday to address a rally as part of his efforts to boost the party’s footprints in West Bengal which sends 42 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
About two lakh party workers are expected to attend the rally at Mayo Road organised by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. The BJP which won just two Lok Sabha seats in 2014 hopes to increase its tally in 2019.
But Shah’s rally which comes less than a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Midnapore, has run into an unlikely opposition. On Friday, posters asking the BJP to “leave Bengal” were seen in and around the venue of the rally in the central part of the city.
The state BJP unit alleged that the placards with messages – “BJP, leave Bengal” and “anti-Bengal BJP go back” – were put up by Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadres, a charge denied by the ruling party.
“This shows that the TMC is afraid of our rally. The days of TMC are numbered in Bengal. The people of the state are waiting for good governance of the BJP,” West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
Bengal is not TMC’s “personal property”, the party has no right to make such demands, said another senior BJP leader.
“The people of the state will decide in the coming days who will stay and who will leave,” he added.
However, TMC secretary-general and Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee said his party had nothing to do with the “anti-BJP posters”.
A poster with the slogan “Anti-Bengal BJP Go Back” is seen along with the posters of BJP leaders at the venue of BJP President Amit Shah’s rally, in Kolkata on Friday, August 10, 2018.
The route that Shah would take to reach the venue was seen dotted with cutouts of Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, similar to what played out during Modi’s visit to Midnapore last month.
The prime minister had even mocked the TMC saying that the ruling party in the state had put up the posters to welcome him.
“They have done this (display of TMC hoardings) in the past too. May be it is their way of welcoming people to the state,” BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said.
Chatterjee, on his part, said there was nothing wrong in putting up posters and placards of their party supremo.
“The TMC is the ruling party in the state and we have every right to put up posters and placards. We don’t need to take permission for that,” he said.
First Published: Aug 11, 2018 08:44 IST