Nadda to kick-off BJP's rath yatra in Bengal on Sat

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Kolkata, Feb 2 (PTI) BJP president J P Nadda will launch the party's month-long rath yatra on Saturday in West Bengal ahead of the assembly polls, sources said on Tuesday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to take out rath yatras across the state in February & March to drum up support for the party in the elections. The yatras will be conducted in five segments and will cover all the 294 assembly constituencies of the state.

Several top BJP leaders are scheduled to arrive in the state during the chariot campaign, set to take off from Nabadwip, Cooch Behar, Kakdwip, Jhargram, Tarapith on Saturday, Monday and next Tuesday.

'J P Nadda will be at Nabadwip to inaugurate the programme on Feb 6. Amit Shah is also likely to take part in the rath yatra events on later dates,' a BJP leader said.

'The dates of Amit Shah function are yet to be confirmed,' the leader said.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh exuded confidence that the rath yatra would be a game-changer for the party ahead of the election due in April-May.

In 2018, the BJP had planned similar rath yatras across the state, but the programme was called off at the last moment as the state government refused to give permission for it.

After having a limited presence in the politically-polarised state for decades, the BJP has emerged as the main rival of the ruling Trinamool Congress by winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the 2019 general election, only four less than the TMC's tally of 22.

With the BJP's strength increasing in the state in the last few years, its leaders are upbeat that the party will be able to end Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's 10-year rule in the state.

Shah and Nadda are on the forefront of BJP's 'mission Bengal' and are making trip of the poll-bound state frequently. PTI PNT SNS HMB