New Delhi: West Bengal is all set for a date with political destiny on December 19 - Saturday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will make two-day visit to the Mamata Banerjee-ruled state beginning Friday evening wherein summer of 2021 is set to witness mother of all elections.
According to programme released by BJP central leadership, Amit Shah will offer prayers at Siddheswari Temple and pay floral tribute to revolutionary freedom fighter Khudiram Bose in West Medinipur on Saturday.
Sources also revealed that on Saturday, the Home Minister will have lunch at the residence of one Jhunu Singh at Balijhuri village in Medinipur. Singh is a leader of a deprived section of people in the village. Posto Shakh, Lao-mugh dal and sweet will be part of the menu.
The Home Minister will pay floral tributes to Swami Vivekananda at Ramakrishna Mission, Kolkata and will offer prayers at Devi Mahamaya Mandir in Medinipur.
He will also address a public meeting 19 December afternoon at Midnapore College Ground, Midnapore.
The visit by Home Minister comes close on the heels of a high profile trip of BJP chief J P Nadda, - whose tour was however marred by stone pelting on the convoy leading to serious confrontation between the centre and Ms Banerjee-led regime in the state.
Shah's visit also assumes significance as a number of prominent Trinamool leaders including 'mass leader' Suvendu Adhikari have quit the state-based party sparking off political ripples. Speculation is rife that a number of Trinamool leaders would join the BJP. "It is combination of good batting by BJP and bad bowling by Trinamool leadership that is leaving Mamata camp deserted," says a local BJP leader Ashutosh Sen in Malda.
Among others, Jitendra Tiwari, Shyamprasad Mukherjee, Shilbhadra Dutta and Feroz Qamal Gazi.
A number of Trinamool leaders from Bishnupur area also quit the party and most of them may join BJP sooner than later.
In a dramatic change in political scenario in the state, the BJP has now emerged as a key competitor to the Trinamool Congress pushing the erstwhile dominant Left Front and the Congress party into the periphery.
Trinamool Congress has meanwhile tried to drag Shah into a row over a poster that shows the Home Minister in more prominent size than the world poet Rabindranath Tagore. "Amit Shah your pompous nature and disconnect with the culture of Bengal has surfaced once again," senior Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee tweeted. "This is exactly why you will remain outsiders to us".
The BJP-Trinamool tussle has been now led to a bitter rivalry between the two parties on the issues of 'local outsiders' card as pushed by TMC as against the nationalism and 'genuine Parivartan' call given by the saffron party.
Lately, the centre and Mamata regime also fought over transfer of three senior IPS officers.