Aiming to expand his party’s footprint ahead of the 2019 general elections, BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday will meet voters at Naxalbari, the West Bengal village from where Left-wing extremism started in late 1960s.
Shah plans to spend three days each in the TMC-ruled West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, Telangana and Lakshadweep in an attempt to strengthen his party’s prospects of winning the elections.
By starting his drive from Naxalbari, Shah will give a message of solidarity to BJP workers, who have “suffered” violence there, Union minister Smriti Irani said.
The right-wing party has accused the ruling TMC of unleashing violence on its workers in West Bengal.
Besides Shah, top party leaders, including almost every Union minister, have been roped in to drive the campaign at booth-level to boost the organisation’s prospects, Irani said and added that they would also focus on securing a foothold in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, two states where the right-wing party has traditionally been a marginal force.
Irani, who contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections against Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, also took a dig at the Congress vice- president for being absent from the political landscape.
In a veiled attack on Rahul, the BJP minister said the workers of a party going through a crisis are looking for their leader, while the president of another party, which has won one election after another, is not resting on his laurels.
Even though Irani had lost the Amethi seat — a Gandhi family bastion— to Rahul, she called it her constituency as according to her she had been ‘serving’ it for last three years.