Amit Shah on 2-day visit to Bengal from Thursday

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Kolkata, Nov 3 (PTI) Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah will visit West Bengal for two days from November 5 and hold meetings with partymen in Bankura and Kolkata to take stock of the party organisation ahead of the 2021 assembly polls, a senior leader said on Tuesday.

This will be Shah's first visit to the state since the COVID-19 outbreak. He had last visited the state on March 1.

The home minister's visit assumes significance with West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar criticising the 'worsening' law and order situation in the state.

Dhankhar had met Shah in New Delhi last week and discussed the 'state of affairs and affairs of the state'.

BJP state general secretary Sayantan Basu said that Shah will arrive in Kolkata on the night of November 4. He will visit Bankura the next day and hold an organisational meeting with BJP leaders of East and West Midnapore, Birbhum, Purulia and Bankura districts.

'He will return to Kolkata in the evening. On November 6, he will visit the Dakineshwar Kali Temple and meet classical singer Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. Later, he will hold a meeting with the state BJP leaders,' Basu said.

Shah is also likely to have lunch at the house of BJP activists both in Bankura and in Kolkata, he said.

Shah, along with BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, vice-president Mukul Roy and state chief Dilip Ghosh, will interact with booth and district-level leaders and various social groups, party sources said.

State BJP leaders have been demanding imposition of President's Rule in Bengal citing 'breakdown of the rule of law'.

Shah's visit will take place days after the major organisational change in the state BJP. Its general secretary (organisation) Subrata Chattopadhyay was removed and his deputy Amitava Chakraborty was elevated to the post by the central leadership.

The 2021 Bengal assembly polls, due in April-May, has assumed significance for the BJP as it will try to cash in on its growing prominence in state politics, while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will seek to return to power for the third straight time.

The saffron party after having a limited presence in the politically polarised state for decades, has emerged as the main rival of the TMC by winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the 2019 general election.

With the BJP's strength increasing in the state in the last few years, where it has never been in power, its leaders are upbeat that the party will end the TMC's 10-year-long rule. PTI PNT NN NN