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Shah likely to visit Kolkata on Dec 17 to attend security meet

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | November 29, 2022 10:47 AM

KOLKATA: Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to arrive in Kolkata on December 17 to attend the Eastern Zonal Council meeting.

Sources from the West Bengal secretariat of Nabanna said that originally the Eastern Zonal Council Meeting was supposed to be held on November 5, which was cancelled due to the Union home minister's other busy schedules. Sources said that the office of the Union home minister has selected December 17 as the tentative date of the meeting although the final confirmation on this count is yet to reach the state secretariat.

If the meeting happens, said a state government official, it will be conducted at the auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat of Nabanna. Besides the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the meeting is also likely to be attended by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang.

Political observers feel that the meeting and more specially the Union home minister's visit to the state to attend it is expected to be crucial on various counts. It is to be seen that besides the Eastern Zonal Council meeting, whether there will be a separate one-on- one meeting between Amit Shah and Mamata Banerjee.

State secretariat sources said that nothing has been confirmed about this so far. However, political observers feel that if the meeting happens then it will be extremely crucial before the forthcoming three- tier panchayat elections in the state scheduled next year over which the tension between the ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition BJP is already at its peak.

It is also to be seen that whether besides his official schedule, Shah meets the state BJP leaders or attends any party function in the state and all eyes will be focused on what message the Union home minister conveys to his party leaders. However, there is no confirmation on anything on this count with the state BJP leaders as yet.

Finally, all eyes will be on whether there will be a separate meeting between Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar in the backdrop of the fact that the latter is emerging as an important opposition face before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

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