New Delhi: Notwithstanding the widespread criticism of the amended Citizenship Act, it will feature prominently in the BJP’s campaign in West Bengal where Assembly polls are lined up early next year.
Union home minister Amit Shah will address a “massive rally” on the CAA at Kolkata’s Shaheed Maidan on Sunday, which will also be a message to the party leaders in the state who had aired divergent views on the legislation.
Amid speculation that the BJP’s West Bengal unit is divided over the CAA, party president J.P. Nadda and Mr Shah will also be meeting party leaders, including state unit office-bearers, and ask them not to express divergent views and “confuse the cad-re”. A section within the BJP’s state unit is of the view that the polarising nature of the CAA and the party’s ‘hardcore Hindutva’ stand could hurt the party’s poll prospects as the voters will not agree to it despite the ruling TMC’s “misgovernance.”
The BJP leadership will also launch the par-ty’s campaign for the upcoming civic polls with the tagline ‘Ar Noy Annayay (no more injustice)’, and ask the people to oust the ruling Trinamul Congress.
Trinamul president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already made it clear that its government is against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens.
After the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, West Bengal was one of the key states on its radar.
The party claims it has nearly one crore members in the state, which the saffron party has never ruled.
The BJP’s best performance in Bengal was in the Lok Sabha polls last year, when it won 18 seats out of the total 42 and increased its vote share to 40.5 per
cent. The TMC's seat tally decreased from 34 to 22.
Election to the 294-member State Assembly is scheduled to be held in April-May next year. The BJP has six MLAs and has set a target of winnnig 250.