Ahead of the Assembly Elections in West Bengal, several BJP leaders have started working in northern North Bengal by attending political and official programmes.
Very significantly, after the political rally attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Cooch Behar on 11 February, the 11th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2021 was inaugurated in Cooch Behar this evening by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, in association with Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, and MP Nisith Pramanik.
Patel is also scheduled to join the ‘Parivartan Yatra’, which started from Cooch Behar on 11 February, in association with senior BJP leader Arvind Menon, who is one of the co-observers of the party in West Bengal, tomorrow.
Menon and former state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari were in Alipurduar district today. They, however, could not attend the ‘yatra’ there because of “some unavoidable circumstances.”
Another senior BJP leader, Rahul Sinha, was in Cooch Behar today for a political programme.
Notably, the BJP has a target of bagging over 41 seats, including Siliguri, of the 54 in eight districts of North Bengal.
Talking to reporters here after offering prayers at the ISKCON temple, Patel described an incident that occurred yesterday as “reprehensible.” Trinamul Congress leaders allegedly tried to stop arrangements that were being made for the Mahotsav yesterday, while a section also criticized the programme organised by using the Cooch Behar Rajbari (Palace).
“Yesterday’s incident is very reprehensible. Cooch Behar is a place that has its own culture, tradition and heritage. I don’t find any mistake if the Rajbari is used as the background for a cultural programme. Cooch Behar as the venue for the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was finalised one year ago,” Mr Patel said. In Cooch Behar, Governor Dhankhar, along with Suresh Dhankhar, visited the Madan Mohan Temple and also paid floral tributes to the statue of Panchanan Barma, the legendary Rajbanshi leader, on his 156th birth anniversary.
“He established a Kshatriya Sabha to instill Brahminical values and practices in people of his own caste. His massive reforms are inspirational,” the Governor said in his Twitter handle.