Kolkata: BJP national president Amit Shah, who is on a three-day visit to West Bengal, has decided to skip Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s constituency Bhowanipore.
Earlier, state BJP leaders were looking for a house in Bhowanipore where Shah would stopover and lunch. However, plans got changed and BJP leaders were asked to look northward, leaving Didi’s “pada” in peace. Party stalwarts feel that Kolkata North Lok Sabha constituency has better electoral prospects than Kolkata South, the latter being synonymous with Didi’s turf.
The other possible reason behind the change in plans could be that post Amit Shah’s visit in April, the Bhowanipore family where he lunched, came under a lot of pressure and harassment. The party doesn’t want to unnecessarily pick up confrontation, where it can be avoided.
An RSS member Manash Sen of Kashipur Lock gate slums in North Kolkata will host Shah. Sen is an employee of a shopping mall. The lunch will comprise rice, daal, vegetable fritters and curry of poppyseed paste. Sen is not worried about the consequences of having the top BJP person in his humble home of asbestos roof.
“I am with the RSS. I am not worried. We are ready to face any situation,” he said. Aware what the tribal family at Naxalbari and Bhowanipore had to face for hosting Shah on earlier occasions, Sen said that it would not be easy to change his political leanings and ideology, no matter what comes, since he is an RSS functionary.
Meanwhile, Shah was not ready to hear that the expansion of the party was suffering because of the atrocities of Trinamool Congress goons. He said that it was time to go for a head on, if it was necessary.
He said that Jan Sangh, when it started with a limited number of members, could send 3 MPs to Lok Sabha, but now with over crores of membership, the number of MPs from Bengal hasn’t shown much improvement.
Asking the party leadership in Bengal to get ready to send 21 MPs in 2019, he said Bengal, Orissa and Kerala were the party’s next destination.