Scindia, Pradhan to meet Bengal BJP leaders during state visit

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Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will be on a two-day visit to West Bengal from Saturday as a preparatory mission for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

A state committee member of the BJP told IANS on condition of anonymity that the visit of Scindia is especially significant for the state leadership as he has been assigned for the Dum Dum Lok Sabha constituency, which elected a BJP representative for two consecutive terms before.

Dum Dum, an erstwhile refugee-dominated Lok Sabha constituency on the outskirts of Kolkata, had been a traditional Left bastion since 1977, when the Left Front government to power for the first time.

However, the red fotress started witnessing the first signs of collapse in 1998, when BJP’s Tapan Sikdar got elected from there and also retained the seat in 1999. However, CPI(M) regained the constituency in 2004. Since 2009, Trinamool has gained control of the crucial Lok Sabha constituencies with Saugata Roy getting elected from there for three consecutive terms in 2009, 2014 and 2019.

“The party leadership feels that Dun Dum can be regained by the party in 2024 and hence Scindia has been especially assigned to oversee the process of restructuring the party organisation in Dum Dum,” the state committee member said.

It is learnt that Scindia will arrive in Kolkata on Saturday morning and will first visit the Dakhineswar Kali temple which comes under the Dum Dum Lok Sabha constituency. As per the schedule, Scindia will also visit the recently-inaugurated Sealdah Metro station as a public relations exercise.

On Sunday, Scindia will hold meetings with the party functionaries of Dum Dum and discuss the roadmap for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. He will also visit the Khardah Ramakrishna Mission before returning to Delhi on Sunday evening.

However, the state BJP leadership is yet to specify the schedule of Pradhan.

“As per initial plans, Pradhan’s programme will be mainly restricted to North Kolkata,” the state committee member said.

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