Bengal BJP leaders have requested Union home minister Amit Shah to hold a public meeting in Nandigram when he visits the state on March 15 and 19 before the constituency goes to polls on April 1. Actor Mithun Chakraborty may hold a roadshow in support of BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari.
The Bengal BJP is keen on putting this hot seat back in its poll narrative, leaving behind the Nandigram incident that has diverted public attention from the party to what happened to chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the past 24 hours.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a meeting in Kanthi in March second week. A host of party seniors such as defence minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath will address public meetings scheduled from this week, said BJP Tamluk president Nabarun Nayek.
Suvendu made use of the occasion of Shivaratri on Thursday and visited a number of temples in Reyapara — where Trinamool chief Banerjee had planned to stay for the night on Wednesday — and also Sonachura, Parulbari and the Shiva temple at Amgechhia, situated on the border of Nandigram I and II.
Suvendu didn’t utter a word on Banerjee’s injury, making it clear he was not getting waylaid into the controversy. Instead, he spent the day in Nandigram walking into Reyapara households to talk to residents. Suvendu did not conceal that he was banking on 2.1 lakh voters (Hindu) while others were eyeing 62,000 voters (Muslims). The 2011 Census data shows that Nandigram I has 34% Muslim population while Hindus are present in overwhelming numbers in Nandigram II and Nandigram town.
For the last two years, Suvendu has been inaugurating temples and patronizing existing ones. He has often been seen participating in kirtans with an eye on Vaishnavs in Purba Midnapore, part of the erstwhile Tamralipta.
On Thursday, Suvendu accepted prasad from temples and walked stretches, talking to people, while BJP supporters in Purba Midnapore launched protests against the ruling Trinamool’s attempt to cast aspersions on Nandigram locals for hatching a “conspiracy” against the CM.