KOLKATA: A galaxy of top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are set to hit the campaign trail in West Bengal to boost the morale of party workers in the State ahead of the Assembly elections next month. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said on Thursday that Modi would begin his campaign with a public meeting at Kharagpur in East Midnapore district. The Prime Minister is likely to address at least 10 rallies in three phases.
Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari will also address several meetings. The State BJP has also invited the Cchief Ministers of BJP-ruled States to campaign for the party nominees. The party has so far fielded 260 candidates but plans to contest all the 294 seats. Though the Left-Congress alliance is alleging a “Modi, Didi bhai bhai” understanding, the BJP is going to go all-out against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Several BJP leaders are of the opinion that the slow pace of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate probes in multi-crore-rupee chit fund scams such as Saradha and Rose Valley in which many TMC leaders are involved has given an opportunity for the Congress and the Left to embarrass them. They also point to the slide in the BJP’s fortunes in last year’s municipal polls, where it managed only eight per cent votes, a far cry from the 17 per cent it managed in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, to make a case for attacking Mamata.
They believe that given the way Mamata has been attacking the Centre and the BJP, Modi may not spare her.
Ghosh, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha and other State leaders have been to New Delhi and finalised the campaign programme of the party’s central leaders. Sources said party president Amit Shah has told them that he too would hold at least 10 public meetings in the State.