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Bengal BJP seeks Bengali support through cultural engagement

NewsBengal BJP seeks Bengali support through cultural engagement

NEW DELHI: Aiming to touch the Bengali chord, ahead of the Panchayat elections slated for later this year and the general elections of 2024, the Bengal BJP unit is preparing for another visit by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore on 7 May, which will be followed by visits from senior leaders to the state on every Bengali cultural and religious occasion for the next year.
Sources in the Bengal BJP said that the attempt is to connect with the Bengali masses who have otherwise been led to believe that the BJP is a party of the “Hindi-Heartland.”
“We are preparing a plan for the visit of senior BJP leaders in Bengal for the next year, where we will organise cultural functions on all occasions that are important and significant to Bengali culture and tradition. Like you have seen, Amit Shah ji visited Bengal on the occasion of the Bengali New Year and prayed at the Dakshineshwar temple. He will also visit Bengal on the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday,” a senior BJP functionary told The Sunday Guardian.
Amit Shah will be in Bengal for two days, from 7 May to 9 May, where he will be addressing a public rally in the Murshidabad district. Even though this is a minority-dominated district, the BJP is hoping to tap into the anti-incumbency sentiment in the area, against the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Remember, the TMC for the first time also lost the Sagardighi assembly by-polls earlier this year to the Congress, who fought in alliance with the Left front. Sagardighi is a minority-dominated assembly constituency, and this has caused a major setback to the TMC, giving hope to the BJP that the minority vote bank of the TMC is slowly slipping out of its grip.
Shah will also visit the birthplace of Rabindranath Tagore, Jorashanko Thakurbari, in Central Kolkata on the 162nd birth anniversary to pay tribute to the Nobel Laureate and revered poet and literary figure who holds a significant place in the cultural traditions of every Bengali.
Shah will also attend a cultural program celebrating the writing of Rabindranath Tagore that is being organised at the Science City auditorium in Kolkata. The event is being organised by a socio-cultural platform called ‘Khola Hawa’ that is headed by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta.
Apart from this, Shah is also likely to hold closed-door meetings with the top leadership of the Bengal unit of the BJP and take stock of the tasks that have been assigned to its leaders. Shah is also likely to prepare a roadmap for the Bengal BJP to achieve the target of 35 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal that he has set for the party for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
A BJP leader from Bengal commented that Shah is very serious about the target of achieving 35 seats for the party from Bengal and that his visits to Bengal have increased only to achieve this target. “Shah and the other senior BJP leaders also want to shift their focus back to Bengal as they see great potential for the party from the state. But for that, the Delhi leadership believes that their visit and strong monitoring system is needed in Bengal so that the 35 seats become achievable,” the BJP leader said.
Sources also indicated that Shah’s visit to Bengal will be followed by visits from BJP National President JP Nadda during the last week of May or first week of June, who is also likely to hold crucial meetings and public rallies in the state. Sources also said that Nadda could be invited to Bengal for “Jamai Shashti” since he is considered the son-in-law of Bengal.
Nadda is married to a Bengali woman, and as per Bengali tradition, the son-in-law is invited and pampered on this occasion by the wife’s family and celebrated with food and family time.

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