Union Home Minister Amit Shah reached Kolkata early on Saturday morning for a two-day visit, for yet another campaign trail ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal next year.
The former Bharatiya Janata Party president’s visit holds significance as a number of leaders who have deserted rival Trinamool Congress in the last few days, including Suvendu Adhikari, are expected to join the saffron party over the next two days, according to NDTV.
Shah is scheduled to address a public rally in the Midnapore district, where he might welcome Adhikari into the party’s folds, on Saturday. On Sunday, Shah is expected to visit the Viswa Bharati University in Bolpur town, where he a roadshow of the home minister is also scheduled.
Adhikari resigned from all the positions he held in the Trinamool Congress on Thursday, after a string of developments where he distanced himself from the party and efforts to assuage him failed.
“I bow to this revered land of greats like Gurudev Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar & Syama Prasad Mookerjee,” Shah tweeted upon arriving in Kolkata.
The Union home minister offered his prayers at the Ramakrishna Ashram in Kolkata. “Vivekananda ji imbibed both modernity and spirituality,” he said. “He [Vivekananda] had said that if for 50 years, everyone forgot their own gods and goddesses and prayed only to Bharat Mata, this nation would awaken...His ideas are all the more relevant today.”
Rebel TMC MLAs back in party
Meanwhile, two Trinamool Congress MLAs Jitendra Tiwari and Biswajit Kundu, who had earlier resigned from the party, have now returned to the Mamata Banerjee-led outfit, reported the Hindustan Times.
On Friday, Tiwari met West Bengal minister Aroop Biswas and said that he would remain with the party. “There was some misunderstanding,” Tiwari said after the meeting, according to the newspaper. “I accept my fault. I never wanted to hurt Didi [Mamata Banerjee]...I will never leave didi. Did I ever say that I don’t obey her? I am withdrawing my statement of resigning from the party.”
Meanwhile, Kundu called up Saugata Roy, one of the party’s MPs, and assured him that he was still with Trinamool Congress.