Amit Shah to address 'potho sabha' in Bengal today, more planned by BJP as part of outreach strategy
Union home minister Amit Shah will hold another roadshow and address public meetings in West Bengal ahead of voting in the fifth phase of assembly elections on April 17. The public meetings are the special focus of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and part of its outreach strategy in the state.
Shah will address 'potho sabhas' in Dum Dum and Baranagar assembly constituencies at 7pm and 8.15pm on Tuesday. After the home minister launches these public meetings, 2,000 more will take place in over 40 assembly constituencies in and around Kolkata.
News agency ANI reported that the BJP is giving special focus to 40 seats spread across the greater Kolkata region to boost its prospects in rest of the four phases. Many of these areas are considered strongholds of ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Addressing a rally in Dhupguri assembly constituency in North Bengal's Jalpaiguri district, Shah claimed on Monday that the BJP is ahead in 92 of the 135 seats that went to polls in the first four phases of the West Bengal assembly elections. Polling will be held in Dhupguri in the fifth phase on April 17.
The BJP leader also said that Mamata Banerjee is a "big leader", and people should give her a grand farewell by ensuring that the saffron party wins more than 200 seats in the elections for the 294-member assembly.
At another rally in Hemtabad in Uttar Dinajpur district, Shah lashed out at the Bengal government for violence in Cooch Behar during the fourth phase of polling in which four people were killed. He said that no one will have the guts to disturb the voters anymore when they go to cast their votes on April 17 in the fifth phase.
"I pray every day that Didi's foot gets better soon so that she can walk to submit her resignation on May 2," he said.
Shah also participated in a roadshow at Siliguri, the largest city in North Bengal, in the evening.
The violence in Cooch Behar has turned into a major issue for BJP and TMC. Mamata Banerjee has claimed the incident was plotted by Amit Shah with "full knowledge" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi, on the campaign trail in the state, termed the incident a consequence of Banerjee's conspiracy to rig the elections by denying people their right to vote.
The rest of the phases in West Bengal assembly elections will take place on April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29. The couting of votes will be held on May 2.