Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

New Delhi: Ahead of Assembly elections in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to visit the state every month and stay there for a week during each visit.

Shah's next visit to West Bengal is likely on January 12 next year, said a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) source, requesting anonymity.

The source indicated that there is plan for Shah's visit to the state every month till the Assembly elections are concluded there. It is learnt that Shah will stay in the state for almost seven days during each visit to the state.

However, the there is no official announcement so far regarding Shah's visits, the matter is still under consideration since the West Bengal BJP unit itself has requested the BJP leader to visit the state every month and stay there for at least a week to attend public gatherings and other activities.

The inputs come amid West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh's announcement that Shah will visit the state every month and stay for at least seven days.

In his two-day visit to West Bengal last week, Shah took stock of his party's affairs in Bengal ahead of the 2021 assembly elections likely in April or May. The West Bengal Assembly term will expire on May 30.

Bengal has been the big challenge for Shah, who had set the state BJP unit a target of 200 of the 294 seats after the party's big victory in the northeast.

BJP President J.P. Nadda was on a day-long visit to North Bengal in October and came on a two-day tour to the state last week, while Amit Shah was in the state for two days in November.

On his first day of his visit to West Bengal, Shah went to the residence of Sanatan Singh at Balijhuri and had lunch there, sitting on the floor of the thatched house.

A chunk of Shah's Day 2 visit in West Bengal was devoted to removing the "outsider" tag bestowed on the BJP by state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with the former BJP chief picking Santiniketan as the centrepiece of his visit. '

Santiniketan's Visva Bharati University was set up in 1921 by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, an icon of the state and the university and its surroundings comprise one of the biggest cultural hubs of the state.

Shah, whose party has been perennially targeting young voters, visited the university where he paid respects to the poet and visited several iconic buildings on the campus. At mid-day, Shah visited the home of a Baul singer. The Baul folk tradition is focused on the welfare of humanity, beyond caste and creed.

During his November visit to the state, he had lunch at the residence of a tribal BJP worker in Bankura and the house of a matua community member in North 24 Parganas.

Amit Shah To Visit Assam On Dec 26, Many Opposition Leaders May Join BJP

Meanwhile, Shah would visit Assam on December 26 and during his visit, several leaders of the opposition parties are likely to join the ruling BJP, party sources said here on Tuesday.

BJP leaders said that the visit of Shah is very significant ahead of next year's elections to the 126-member Assam Assembly, likely to be held in April or May.

"During the Home Minister's visit, several leaders of various opposition parties would join the BJP. Shah would discuss important issues related to the elections with the state party leaders, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal," a BJP leader said, refusing to disclose the details of the leaders who are likely to join the ruling party.

Along with Assam, Assembly polls would also be held in other states, including West Bengal and Kerala.

Shah, a former President of BJP, visited Bengal on Saturday and Sunday when dissident Trinamool Congress heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari along with several others joined the BJP.

BJP's National Vice-President, Baijayant Jay Panda, who is the Assam in-charge for the saffron party, visited the state last week and claimed that the party is fully confident of securing "the mission of 100 plus seats" along with its allies.

"The BJP along with its allies would retain power in Assam and would secure at least 100 seats in next year's Assembly elections," Panda told the media in Guwahati.

The results of the recent elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and the Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) in Assam have boosted the confidence of the BJP.

The BJP swept last week's polls to the 36-member TAC by winning 33 seats while in the elections to the 40-member BTC, BJP formed the council in alliance with two other new allies -- United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) and Gana Suraksha Parishad (GSP).

After the outcome of the BTC polls, the BJP dumped the Bodoland People's Front (BPF) and announced to support its new allies UPPL and GSP to take power in the politically significant autonomous body.

The BJP in the December 7 and 10 BTC polls fought against the BPF despite ruling Assam together since 2016 along with the AGP.

In the 40-member BTC polls, BPF became the single largest party by winning 17 seats while the UPPL bagged 12 seats, BJP 9, and the GSP and Congress one seat each.

In a fresh development on Tuesday, the Gauhati High Court ordered Chief Executive Member Pramod Boro-led new BTC to prove its majority in the floor of the council before December 26.

The high court order came following a petition filed by BPF President and former Chief Executive Member of the BTC, Hagrama Mohilary.

Mohilary, whose party had emerged as the single largest party in the just-concluded BTC polls, filed the petition opposing the formation of the council by the UPPL with the BJP and GSP, contending that BPF as the single largest party should have been allowed to form the council first.

(With IANS Inputs)