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Modi to arrive in Bengal today for two-day visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in West Bengal on Friday for a two-day visit and address two rallies at Arambagh and Krishnanagar besides inaugurating projects worth 22,000 crore at separate events.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (ANI)

In Krishnanagar, Modi will address a gathering on Saturday in an assembly segment, which the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) turncoat Mukul Roy won in 2021 on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket. BJP’s Madhusudan Bag is an assembly member from Arambagh. TMC’s Aparupa Poddar won the Arambagh Lok Sabha seat for a second time in 2019 when the BJP bagged 18 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats.

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The BJP has set a target of winning 35 seats, including Krishnanagar, in Bengal. TMC’s Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from the Lok Sabha on charges of bribery for raising questions in Parliament, won the Krishnanagar seat in 2019. BJP’s Satyabrata Mookerjee bagged the seat in 1999 and became a Union minister.

BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya said they anticipate the Prime Minister will focus on a corruption-free society in Bengal when he addresses the people. “…he will speak on development and revival of industries in this state.”

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee targeted Modi without naming him at an event in Jhargram on Thursday. “Some people start coming to Bengal when elections are imminent. They make tall promises that are never kept. If they [BJP] win this election, the price of cooking gas will hit the ceiling.”

Modi will arrive in Bengal days after home minister Amit Shah on February 10 said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will be implemented before the Lok Sabha elections.

CAA was passed in 2019 to fast-track citizenship for non-Muslims, who entered India from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh before 2015. TMC has opposed CAA, calling it unconstitutional as it links citizenship to faith in a secular country.

Bengal has a sizeable scheduled caste population that includes Namasudras who migrated from Bangladesh. The BJP has focussed on this community in all recent elections.

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