KOLKATA: Union Home minister Amit Shah is likely to sound the poll bugle in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections when he addresses Wednesday's rally at the Trinamool Congress’s signature venue in front of the Victoria House in Esplanade.
The BJP is the first political party allowed by the Calcutta High Court to hold a rally at the venue where the TMC organises its annual Martyrs’ Day event on July 21 which has turned into a mega event as lakhs of supporters of the ruling party from across the state choke the central part of the state capital every year.
"We are expecting a roadmap from Shah before the Lok Sabha polls. During his last visit to the state, he set a target of 35 Lok Sabha seats out of 42 before us. The rally and presence of Shah will definitely boost the morale of our party activists before the crucial general elections," said a senior BJP leader.
Sources in the saffron camp said bringing supporters to the rally venue was a challenge as it would be compared to Mamata Banerjee’s annual event. "Our district level leaders have been asked to bring at least 10,000 supporters from each of the 40 organisational districts. We expect a massive turnout of 3.5 lakh to 4 lakh supporters," said the leader.
Insiders in the BJP said unlike the ruling TMC, they will face difficulties in accommodating the supporters. "The TMC has the advantage of using the state’s facilities like stadiums and grounds for making lodging arrangements which we do not have. We have rented guest houses and other accommodations of our party supporters and sympathisers. We will surprise the ruling TMC by bringing a massive number of supporters," said another BJP leader.
Sources in the BJP said supporters would start arriving in Kolkata from Tuesday from distant districts.
"We are expecting Shah to raise the issue of corruption by the TMC. We are all set to launch a massive campaign to highlight the issue," said another senior leader of the saffron camp.