The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has planned three days of rallies, to be addressed by party chief Amit Shah, across West Bengal on January 20 -- a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's opposition rally in Kolkata.
The announcement by state BJP president Dilip Ghosh comes after Supreme Court's directive asking the state government to allow the saffron party to hold public meetings.
"We will start organising our public rallies from January 20. Amit Shah will address the first rally on January 20 in Malda," Mr Ghosh said.
On January 21, Mr Shah will address two rallies in Suri in Birbhum district and Jhargram. On January 22, he will address rallies at Krishnanagar in Nadia district and Jaynagar in South 24 Parganas district, Mr Ghosh said.
The BJP has identified West Bengal as a priority state for the upcoming national elections and Amit Shah has set a target of 22 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats.
The BJP had earlier planned 'Rath Yatras' in all Lok Sabha constituencies in the state to boost its chances in the national elections. However, it was denied permission by the state government. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court put the programme on hold saying the state government's law-and-order apprehensions over the event were not "totally unfounded" and asked the BJP to submit a fresh request and seek necessary approvals.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to attend a rally at the Brigade Parade Ground on February 8, Mr Ghosh said.
He said they are yet to decide on the 'Rath Yatra' and the Bengal unit will discuss the matter with the central leaders.
However, a lawyer associated with the matter has said that the 40-day programme has been cut to 20 and the fresh 'Yatras' would start from Baharampur in Murshidabad district, Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district, Medinipur and the Lok Sabha constituency of Kolkata North.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has organised a massive rally in Kolkata on January 19, which is likely to see participation of lakhs of her supporters. Leaders of all major opposition parties have been invited to the rally to be held at the Brigade Parade ground in the heart of the city.
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