According to media reports, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will now lead Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘Pad Yatra’ in West Bengal. Earlier, it was announced that the ‘Pad Yatra’ will be led by the BJP President Amit Shah. Lately, BJP president was diagnosed with ‘Swine flu’ and is currently admitted in AIIMS Delhi, so, the Yatra will now likely be led by the UP CM Yogi.
Prior to this, the saffron party had planned ‘Rath Yatra’ touching all the Lok Sabha constituencies in the state to boost its public reach. However, the permission for organizing the Yatra was denied by the state government and has since been caught in legal tangles. Afterwards, the BJP had decided to organize ‘Pad Yatra’ because of the legal quagmire.
However, it is expected that Amit Shah will be discharged in 2 days and is supposed to kick start the campaign in West Bengal from 20th of January. According to his schedule, he will address two rallies in Suri in Birbhum district and Jhargram. Later, on 22nd the BJP President will address rallies at Krishnanagar in Nadia district and Jaynagar in South 24 Parganas district. Rallies in Bengal will be held till the first week of February.
Since the saffron party announced the Rath Yatra in the state, the Mamata government was in a panic. In its response to a division bench of Calcutta High Court, West Bengal government has told that it will not allow BJP to flag off Rath Yatra in the state. Initially, Mamata Banerjee stated that neither she nor the state will put roadblocks in BJP’s Rath Yatra; instead, Mamata’s party, Trinamool Congress (TMC) would be carrying its own ‘Shanti Yatra’ in response. But it seems the grand talks of Mamata were hollow and due to the fear of BJP’s rising popularity, the West Bengal Govt. in an act of u-turn has gone against its own commitment.
Earlier, the BJP had planned the Rath Yatra in the state of West Bengal not only to unite the Hindu community against the regime of Mamata Banerjee but also to make people aware of the appeasement policies highly skewed towards the Muslim population. But the legal roadblock had forced the BJP to switch to ‘Pad Yatra’. Claiming of getting a historic mandate in West Bengal, the State BJP President Dilip Ghosh said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also join the election campaign in the state. PM Modi is also likely to attend a rally at the Brigade Parade Ground here on February 8, added Ghosh.
It is evident that the BJP has emerged as the biggest challenger to TMC as it has started getting all the ground support in West Bengal and looks set to retain power in centre in the upcoming general elections. The results of state assembly elections in Tripura, Manipur, and other states have proved that the saffron party is more than capable of making inroads into alien territories. With Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath acting as its star campaigners, the party looks all set to get more seats in the coming elections.