Union home minister Amit Shah visited Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral house in north Kolkata on Saturday morning while kicking off his two-day visit to West Bengal.
Shah arrived in Kolkata late on Friday night and is scheduled to camp in the poll-bound state for the next two days, during which he will visit two districts, address a rally, hold a road show, have lunch with families of a farmer and a baul singer, and visit Visva Bharati in Santiniketan.
“Today I am very happy and fortunate that I am visiting a place which inspires not just Indians but the entire world. This is the birthplace of Swami Vivekananda. Swamiji, during his life, had spread India’s knowledge and culture to the entire world. He acquainted the entire world with universal brotherhood through his speech at the parliament of religions in USA. He was the person who tied modernism with spiritualism. He urged India to worship Bharat mata. Within 50 years, India achieved Independence. Swamiji’s values hold the same relevance today as that time,” Shah said.
An 11-member team comprising BJP leaders such as national vice president Mukul Roy, state president Dilip Ghosh and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya were there with Shah. The Union minister, however, didn’t respond to any media queries.
Meanwhile, TMC supporters staged a protest on Sukhiya Street, less than two kilometres away.
Top BJP leaders in the state had earlier said that Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda would visit West Bengal every month till the elections, slated for early-2021. While Shah had come to West Bengal in early-November, Nadda was on a two-day visit last week.
Some former TMC leaders, who have resigned from the party in the last 72 hours, are expected to join the BJP at Shah’s rally in East Midnapore. The buzz is that former TMC heavyweight Suvendu Adhikary could join the BJP during Shah’s visit.