Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, denied permission to hold rallies in West Bengal last Sunday, will visit the state again this afternoon to address a public gathering in Purulia, around 300 km from Kolkata. This time, he plans to travel partly by road.
Hours before his visit, the BJP posted a sarcastic tweet inspired by a catch-phrase from the blockbuster “Uri”: “How’s the khauf (fear)?”
The chief minister’s office confirmed that Adityanath would leave Lucknow by a special plane for Ranchi on Tuesday. From there, he is scheduled to take a helicopter till Bokaro before taking the road to Bengal.
Tuesday’s visit was planned earlier but after Sunday, the route was hastily rethought to ensure that the chief minister gets to enter West Bengal where the party is looking to make inroads in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“He could easily have taken a chopper till Purulia, which is adjacent to Bokaro but because of the Trinamool government’s decision to deny landing permission to him on Sunday, it has been decided that he would travel to West Bengal by road. Let’s see how what the terrified ‘didi’ does now,” a senior BJP leader privy to Adityanath’s plan was quoted as saying by HT.
Mamata Banerjee is popularly referred to as ‘didi’ in West Bengal and has come under attack from the BJP which claimed that denial of permission for a helicopter landing reflected that she was ‘scared’ of Yogi.
Asked if they thought that her government could still stop Yogi from entering Bengal, a senior BJP leader said, “Let her do whatever she wants. We aren’t complaining. By her acts, she is merely helping our cause of making BJP more popular in Bengal.”
The BJP unit in Purulia has been asked to ensure good attendance for Adityanath’s rally which party leaders estimate would now be even more keenly heard due to the ‘needless controversy’ generated by the Bengal government.
On Sunday, after being denied landing permission, Adityanath had addressed his two rallies in Bengal on phone. During his telephonic address, he claimed the Mamata Banerjee government was afraid of the BJP “as it very well knows that its days in Bengal are numbered.”
He had also told the cadre in West Bengal to ‘democratically’ fight the ‘undemocratic’ Trinamool Congress government and promised to return to West Bengal soon.
Apart from West Bengal, Adityanath is also scheduled to address party cadres in Bihar (February 7), Uttarakhand (February 9), Kerala (February 12 and 14) and Odisha (February 20), Adityanath’s advisor Mrityunjay Kumar confirmed.