Shah will arrive in Kolkata on the night of May 4. On May 5, he will first go to Hingalganj in the North 24 Parganas district and attend a function of the Border Security Force (BSF).
From there he will head to Siliguri in North Bengal’s Darjeeling district and address a public rally at Railway Institute Ground. There is also a possibility of the Home Minister having a meeting with the representatives of different political and non-political organisations based out of Darjeeling on May 5.
On May 6, he will go to the adjacent Cooch Behar district of North Bengal and attend a government programme in Tinbigha. He will return to Kolkata on May 6 afternoon and is expected to hold meetings with the top BJP leaders from the state and then fly back to Delhi the same day.
This will be Shah’s first visit to the state after the party’s defeat in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls. Since then, the party’s performance in by-elections and municipal polls has been pathetic.
The party even lost the by-poll for the Asansol Lok Sabha seat, which it had won in 2019 by a margin of around two lakh votes. In many cases, Left Front candidates secured the second position in vote share percentage leaving the BJP in the third position.
“It is crucial to retain all the 18 Lok Sabha seats that we won in 2019 in the coming 2024 Lok Sabha elections as well. But the current situation is very grim and we hope that the Home Minister gives us a definite message and throws some light on how to improve our organisational structure and functioning in the state,” a member of the BJP’s state committee in West Bengal, who did not wish to be named, told IANS.
BJP’s national vice-president and party MP, Dilip Ghosh, said that although the main purpose of Shah’s visit is to attend official programmes, he will also hold meetings with the party leaders from the state.