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26 Apr 2017

Shah 'confirms' BJP win in Bengal - Lunch to walk, party on outreach mission

A woman serves lunch to Amit Shah, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh (centre) and another party leader in Naxalbari on Tuesday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
AVIJIT SINHA, TT, Naxalbari, April 25: National BJP president Amit Shah today directed party workers not to "breathe easy" until Trinamul was ousted in Bengal, saying "the win of the BJP is confirmed".
"The win of the BJP is confirmed in Bengal. In the 2019 elections, people across the country will come to know that our party has succeeded in Bengal and people of this state will contribute to our success," Shah told BJP supporters in South Kotiajote village in Naxalbari block, from where he launched a booth-level campaign.
"We have taken up the task of strengthening our organisation through our workers. We are getting overwhelming support from the people," he added.
Shah's comments today came against the backdrop of his speech in Bhubaneswar, where he had said that the party's "golden era" would begin only with BJP governments in Bengal, Kerala and Odisha.
Sources said the party was banking on Shah's outreach programme - designed on the lines of the BJP's strategy of social engineering conceived by the leader in Uttar Pradesh - for its expansion in Bengal.
Bengal is scheduled to witness a series of elections over the next few years - the panchayat polls in 2018, followed by the Lok Sabha elections the next year and the 2021 Assembly polls.
The BJP has renewed its focus on Bengal after the sweeping victory in Uttar Pradesh this year. The 200-odd rallies brought out by party-backed outfits on Ram Navami and Hunaman Jayanti were perceived as indication of the party's efforts to increase its base in Bengal.
Although Shah did not mention Ram or Hanuman even once in his speech today, chants of "Jai Shri Ram" filled the air wherever he visited.
Tomorrow, the BJP chief will be in Bhowanipore - the Assembly constituency of Mamata Banerjee - and on Thursday, he will attend a similar booth-level programme in Rajarhat New Town.
Shah, who landed at Bagdogra airport this morning, first went to Naxalbari, where he had lunch along with state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh at the house of a tribal family.
From there, he walked up to the house of Sadhana Mondal, the sole BJP member in the Left-run Naxalbari panchayat, and held an hour-long meeting with booth workers.
The BJP chief then addressed party supporters, walked through the lanes of the village and visited five households. Later in the day, he spoke to some eminent people of Siliguri at the indoor stadium.
In Naxalbari, Shah instructed party workers to focus on the booths.
"This is the place from where the Naxalbari movement had started. Seeing the spontaneous response of the people here today, we are sure lotuses will bloom here," he said.
In the course of his speech, he also trained guns on Trinamul. "The more Trinamul tries to stop us, the more and more lotuses will bloom. We are not among the fearful lots," Shah said.

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