Kolkata: Overcoming their bitter political rivalry, a CPI(M) leader has allowed BJP chief Amit Shah to hold a public meeting on his land in Malda district on January 22. Tarun Ghosh, who offered to host the meeting, said: “I don’t see anything wrong in allowing the BJP’s public meet. The land was vacant and hence I don’t have any problem giving it to them.”
According to Ghosh, BJP leaders Mukul Roy and local MLA Swadhin Kumar Sarkar approached him a few days ago, following which he agreed to allow the meeting on his Malda property. The former Panchayat Pradhan has, however, denied taking money from the BJP.
The move, however, has not gone down well with the Trinamool Congress, which accused the two parties of having a tacit understanding.
TMC leader Dulal Sarkar said, “CPI (M) leader allowing BJP leaders to hold a public meet shows that ‘Ram’ and ‘Baam’ (Left parties) have a political understanding in Bengal. They are bhai…bhai in Bengal,” he said.
Several BJP meetings are scheduled to take place across the state starting from Malda.
Shah, who was down with Swine Flu, was discharged from AIIMS on Sunday and is slated to arrive in Kolkata on Tuesday morning.
From Kolkata, he will take a chopper to Malda district to address a public meet.
BJP MLA Swadhin Kumar Sarkar said the party was thankful to Ghosh for providing the land. “We are fully prepared for the event and are expecting a large number of people,” he said.
After Tuesday’s rally, the BJP chief will address two rallies in Jhargram and Birbhum’s Suri district,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh confirmed. “On January 24, we will request Smriti Irani-ji to address public meetings at Krishnanagar in Nadia district and Joynagar in South 24 Parganas district as the BJP chief is not well,” he said.
The state BJP has also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a public meeting at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade ground, the same venue where the TMC recently held its United India rally.
The BJP is gearing up to target 22 parliamentary seats of the 42 in Bengal. The party at present has two Lok Sabha seats (Asansol and Darjeeling) in the state. On the other hand, the TMC is eyeing a wider political space and is looking forward to play an important in the fight against the saffron brigade ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Saturday’s mega rally brought together 23 opposition party leader, including Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge, Janata Dal-Secular’s HD Deve Gowda, Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and DMK’s MK Stalin.