Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s one day visit to West Bengal has been rescheduled and once again, the man filling in for him is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda.
It may be recalled that Amit Shah was to visit the state and hold meetings in Siliguri on October 17 with senior party members such as general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh and vice-president Mukul Roy. They were to chalk out a strategy for assembly elections that are due in the state next year.
— Office of JP Nadda (@OfficeofJPNadda) October 18, 2020
Now, that Amit Shah’s trip has been postponed, JP Nadda will be at the helm of these crucial meetings. This is the second instance of Nadda filling in for Shah who has been missing in action on the ground even in Bihar, a state that goes to polls on October 28. On Sunday October 11, BJP National President, JP Nadda had addressed a rally in Gaya as part of the party’s election campaign in Bihar.
Explaining Shah’s absence in West Bengal, Dilip Ghosh told reporters in Kolkata, “Our party president J P Nadda Ji will visit Siliguri on October 19 and hold organisational meetings there. Amit Shah ji is busy now. He will come after Durga puja,” reported the Indian Express.
BJP had managed to improve its tally in northern constituencies in the General Elections held in 2019, though as a SabrangIndia analysis had shown, the party’s magic begins to fade as one moves South, especially in districts along the Bangladesh border.
However, BJP is maintaining pressure over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC). In an interview to News 18, his first in a long time amidst speculations about health and hospitalization, Amit Shah said that the demand by his party men for President’s rule in West Bengal was justified given the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. “Stithi itni gambhir hai ki wo maang karen, unki wajah wajib hai. (The situation is so serious, their demand is justified.)”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to address a virtual rally during the Durga Puja festivities in the state on October 22.