Shah is in Kolkata for two days to preside over a meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council. First time speaking face-to-face with Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee following the BJP’s defeat in the Bengal assembly elections last year. Home Minister Amit Shah was welcomed by the sound of drums, conch shells, and a shower of flower petals on Friday night at the West Bengal BJP headquarters. Shah paid the party’s 6, Murlidhar Sen Lane addressed his first visit ever on Friday. He is in Kolkata for the Eastern Zonal Council meeting on Saturday.
The BJP party workers were visibly excited as they waited outside the tight security barricades around the Home Minister after Shah made an unscheduled stop at the party office on the sidelines of the Easter Zonal Council meeting. As Shah walked into the party headquarters and waved to the karyakartas, there was a lot of cheering. The senior BJP official also presided over a crucial gathering of the top 18 party officials from the state, including Dr Sukanta Majumdar, the state chief, Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly, Nisith Pramanik, the minister of state (MoS), for the home, Mangal Pandey, the in-charge Sunil Bansal, and some MPs and MLAs.
“So far, even the party president, J.P. Nadda hasn’t (ever) visited the BJP headquarters in Bengal, but today marks a first for Amit Shah. When he was the party president he hadn’t come to this office, but today when he is a key Union minister and has much more responsibilities on his plate, he’s visiting this small party office here in Kolkata,” stated a BJP worker, after greeting Shah with a bouquet of flowers.
Amit Shah, who will be in Kolkata for two days, will preside over the Eastern Zonal Council meeting on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the West Bengal State Secretariat, Nabanna. The Eastern Zonal Council is made up of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Sikkim. Chief Ministers, ministers, and senior bureaucrats from all five states are anticipated to attend the conference on Saturday, which will focus on the interstate and international border security. The Union Home Minister will meet West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee for the first time since Banerjee’s party thrashed the BJP in the Bengal assembly election last year.