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Thursday 23 January 2020

With an eye on Lok Sabha polls, BJP to take out 3 rath yatras in West Bengal

"The first rath yatra will start from the temple town of Tarapith in Birbhum district on 3 December. Party president Amit Shah is likely to take part in it," Ghosh said

Kolkata: With an eye on the next Lok Sabha polls, the West Bengal BJP unit would take out three rath yatras covering all the 42 parliamentary constituencies of the State.

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the rath yatras would be held in December, but campaign for the programme will begin just after Durga Puja.

“The first rath yatra will start from the temple town of Tarapith in Birbhum district on 3 December. Party president Amit Shah is likely to take part in it,” Ghosh said.

“He is very keen on taking part in all the three yatras. But his dates need to be worked out. Union ministers, chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and senior party leaders will take part in the rally,” he said.

The second rath yatra from Namkhana-Gangasagar in South 24 Parganas district would begin on 5 December and the last one from Cooch Behar would start from 7 December, he said.

Each rath yatra will cover 14 Lok Sabha constituencies.

“At the end of January, we have a plan to hold a massive rally in Kolkata which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Ghosh said.

BJP sources said the decision to take out rath yatras was taken during Shah’s two-day visit to the state in June. Shah had set a target of winning at least 22 seats in the State.

Roadside meetings, social media campaigns and rallies in various parts of the state will be used to campaign for the rath yatras.

“Bengal is of immense importance for our party presently as people are fed up with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) regime. We need to win a maximum number of seats from Eastern and Northeastern India, especially Bengal,” a senior BJP leader said.

The party presently has two Lok Sabha seats — Asansol and Darjeeling — in the State.

Buoyed by its performance in the last Panchayat polls, the West Bengal BJP has prepared its Lok Sabha blueprint, targeting 26-28 parliamentary seats in the State.

The 28 seats where the BJP’s chances of winning are more than 60 to 70% are spread across north Bengal, south Bengal and tribal-dominated districts of Junglemahal, the senior BJP leader said.

Some of these seats are Balurghat, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Malda North in north Bengal and Purulia, Jhargram, Medinipur, Krishnagar, Howrah in south Bengal, he said.

Time is fast running out for the “corrupt” and “anti-people” TMC government in the state but they are yet to realize it, Mukul Roy, BJP’s convener of the election management committee in West Bengal, said.

“The people will sound the final bell for TMC in the next Lok Sabha polls,” Roy said.

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