With Trinamool and terror on menu, BJP chief Amit Shah is all set to launch his Bengal Yatra from the Chowringhee football grounds, located hardly 5km from the Khagragor blast site in Burdwan on Tuesday.
As the CBI slowly inches towards the top leadership of the Trinamool in the Saradha probe, Shah’s rally is likely to draw huge crowds from across the state.
The focus of BJP chief’s speech is expected to be the alleged terror links of the ruling party. In fact, Burdwan was chosen as the rally spot to take advantage of the October 2 blast that blew the lid of a quietly flourishing terror network mainly fueled by infiltrators from Bangladesh.
BJP leaders have constantly maintained that Trinamool leaders helped the terror network grow.
“Many leaders from Trinamool are eager to cross over. But that won’t be the focus of Shah’s programme which would highlight the threat to national security from this state,” BJP national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said.
However, rumour mills were agog with names of several Trinamool MPs on Monday evening. A young MP from south Bengal remained mum to HT’s questions that he was planning to meet Shah in Delhi on January 21. “Ask me other questions. What are the names of other leaders who will join?” the MP replied.
On January 15, Bengal’s refugee rehab minister Manjul Krishna Thakur and his son Subrata quit the Trinamool and joined the BJP. While the BJP has been selling this switchover as the first in a long list to come, the Trinamool dismissed is as unfortunate. Shah’s rally is expected to turn the trickle into a cascade with more Trinamool leaders joining the saffron brigade.
Officially, Shah’s Bengal tour is designed to build up a grassroots level party organization that can take on the might of the Trinamool in the assembly polls in 2016.
Central and state leaders from Delhi had recently said that 40-50 Trinamool leaders – ministers, MLAs, and MPs – have done their groundwork and are just waiting for a signal from the BJP to cross over.
Engineering a split in the Trinamool is BJP’s best bet to quickly gain ground in the state.
Shah’s public meeting, the first outside Kolkata, will mark the beginning of a series of meetings which will cover the entire state in the run up to the municipal polls and assembly polls.
Amit Shah will reach Kolkata on Tuesday morning and go to Burdwan by road. There, he will address a workers meet following by the public rally.