Union Home Minister Amit Shah welcomed high-profile Trinamool Congress rebel Suvendu Adhikari to the BJP on Saturday at a mega rally in West Bengal’s Midnapore, sparing no shot at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Mr Adhikari first resigned from the cabinet on November 27 and then from the party on December 16. His associates have promised a “political storm more fierce than Cyclone Amphan” to sweep across Bengal from Darjeeling to Digha” that will usurp the Ms Banerjee’s government.
Mr Shah earlier cited the examples of freedom fighters like Khudiram Bose and Ramprasad Bismil to tell rival parties in West Bengal that indulging in regionalism was “shallow politics” and ought to be shunned.
Paying floral tributes to the revolutionary Khudiram Bose at his ancestral place in Medinipur, 150 kilometres from Kolkata, the Home Minister said the country’s youth may not always get a chance die for the nation like Bose, but they have a chance to live and follow the brave revolutionary’s path.
“Those who do ‘ochi rajneeti’ (shallow politics), I remind them that Khudiram Bose was as much Bengal’s as he was the rest of nation’s. Pandit Ramprasad Bismil belong as much to UP as to Bengal. The freedom fighters would not have imagined such ‘ochi rajneeti’,” Mr Shah said in Medinipur while speaking to the media.
His comments were likely aimed at Trinamool’s attempts to paint the BJP as a party of “outsiders” which should not be given any space in West Bengal.
The Home Minister, accompanied by Bengal BJP leader like Dilip Ghosh and the party’s West Bengal in-charge, Kailash Vijayvargiya, then went on to have lunch at a farmer’s house in Belijuri village in West Midnapore district.
Mr Shah arrived in Medinipur a little after noon by helicopter from Kolkata. He offered prayers at the Siddheswari Kali Temple and later at the Devi Mahamaya temple in the town.
The Home Minister began his day in the state capital offering prayers to Swami Vivekananda, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Sarada Devi at the Ramakrishna Ashram around 10.30 am.
“Vivekananda ji connected modernity and spirituality. He had said that if, for 50 years, everyone forgot their own gods and goddesses and prayed only to Bharat Mata, this nation would become aware. Exactly 50 years after that, India won independence,” Mr Shah said at the Ashram in the morning.
Mr Shah’s West Bengal visit comes nine days after a convoy of BJP chief JP Nadda was attacked by alleged Trinamool workers, sparking a huge row between the centre and the state.