Amit Shah will address a rally at 1 pm this afternoon (Express Photo/Dasarath Deka/File)
In his first visit to West Bengal since the release of Assam’s draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30, BJP president Amit Shah will address the Yuva Swabhiman Samavesh rally in Kolkata at 1 pm on Saturday afternoon. Shah is likely to take on the Mamata-Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which has been rallying against his visit and the NRC after several Bengalis were omitted from the draft. This event, which is being organised by the BJP’s youth wing, BJP Yuva Morcha (BJYM), will be held at Mayo Road.
The Indian Express reported on July 31 that the BJP has proposed a similar effort to “identify illegal migrants from Bangladesh in West Bengal”.
Security has been heightened ahead of today’s event. The police will deploy drones during Shah’s speech to avoid any mishap. After a makeshift tent in Midnapore caved in during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally on July 16, the party is taking steps to ensure the stage today is well constructed.
According to a report in news agency ANI, a bus ferrying BJP workers to Kolkata to attend the rally was attacked by unidentified miscreants in West Midnapore. No one was injured. An FIR has been lodged.
Ahead of Shah’s rally, TMC put up posters on Mayo Road. (Express Photo/Partha Paul)
As a mark of protest against Shah’s visit to the state, hoardings with slogans “Anti-Bengal BJP Go Back” were displayed on Mayo Road. Hoardings of TMC leader Mamata Banerjee have also been put up ahead of the rally. In one such hoarding, a picture of Mamata with a raised fist and a microphone was seen with ‘Unnoyoner Protik loho pronam’ (symbol of development we salute you) was written.
A poster with the slogan “Anti-Bengal BJP Go Back” is seen along with the posters of BJP leaders at the venue of BJP President Amit Shah’s rally, in Kolkata on Friday, August 10, 2018. (PTI Photo)
State BJP secretary Sayantan Basu said, “What is there to say if they are extending their courteousness at our leader’s visit. They seem to welcome our national leaders including the prime minister and our national president with their banners and hoardings. This is their culture and we do not feel disturbed.”
A senior TMC leader, meanwhile, said, “Their national leaders, even Prime Minister may visit Bengal thousands of time, but the people of Bengal are with Mamata Banerjee… Our flags and the hoardings of our party chief Mamata Banerjee will remind them that Bengal belongs to TMC not to any communal force.”
with the Express Morning Briefing