Kolkata: He may have skipped the Bihar elections, but Home Minister Amit Shah is leading from the front to fulfil BJP’s mission of wresting power from the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, which goes to polls next year.
Shah arrived in Bengal on Wednesday night for a two-day visit to study the party’s organisational preparedness. He reached Bankura district on Thursday morning for a party meeting. He had lunch with a tribal family at Chaturdhi village, in an apparent attempt to shore up BJP’s tribal votebank.
The home minister said his party will be at the helm of the state government soon. “The death knell has rung for the Mamata government. In coming days, the BJP will form the government with two thirds majority.”
In the 294-seat Bengal assembly, the TMC has 221 MLAs, while the BJP has just 16 members.
Stressing that Bengal is a border state and its security is connected with the security of the country, he said, “To secure the people of Bengal and provide employment to the youth and take people out of poverty, throw out the present government. Give the BJP government a chance.”
Bankura is a part of the Junglemahal belt, which predominantly has a tribal population and was an erstwhile Maoist stronghold. On Friday, Shah will have a meal with a refugee family.
The BJP had created a dent in TMC’s refugee, Matua and tribal bases in the 2019 general elections. The tribal and Matua communities with the SC/ST status comprise about 16% of the population in Bengal.
The party is also trying to assure the refugee community that the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act will work in its favour.
Shah also hit out at the TMC over the killings of BJP workers in the state in recent months. “Since last night, I am in West Bengal and can sense the massive public anger against the Mamata Banerjee government. We are confident of bringing a change in the state under the leadership of Narendra Modi,” he said.
Party workers from two zones of Rarh and Hoogly-Midnapore covering over 70 Assembly seats were a part of Thursday’s meeting. On Friday, Shah will address party workers from Kolkata and Nabadeep zones.