BJP national president JP Nadda will visit Siliguri in North Bengal on Monday to take stock of organisational matters, ahead of 2021 Assembly elections, party sources said.
Both Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Mr Nadda have addressed several virtual rallies and party programmes in Bengal over the past few months. This will be the saffron party president’s first visit to the state, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the sources said on Sunday.
Mr Nadda, along with senior party leaders such as national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, vice- president Mukul Roy, will interact with booth- and district- level leaders, on the occasion.
“There are no public programmes happening… From the airport, he will straight go to a hotel in Siliguri, where he will address party workers and hold an organisational meeting with leaders of North Bengal. He will leave for Delhi in the evening,” a state BJP leader said.
A press conference by Mr Nadda, which was earlier scheduled, also stands cancelled, he said.
The saffron party has made deep inroads in North Bengal, once considered to be a bastion of the Congress and the TMC, bagging seven out of eight Lok Sabha seats in the region in 2019 general election.
North Bengal, spanning across eight districts, accounts for 54 of the 294 assembly seats.
Earlier, it was decided that Shah will be visiting North Bengal ahead of Durga Puja, but the plan was subsequently put on hold.
After decades of limited presence in the politically polarised state, the BJP emerged as the main rival of the ruling TMC in 2019, winning 18 of 42 Lok Sabha seats.
With the BJP”s strength increasing manifold over the last few years in Bengal, where it has never been in power, party leaders have expressed confidence that the saffron surge will end Mamata Banerjee’s decade-long rule in the state.
Assembly polls are likely to be held in Bengal in April-May next year.