Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the poll-bound states of West Bengal and Assam over the coming weekend celebrating Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary in Kolkata and allotting land pattas in Sivasagar districts. This is likely to be the first of his many visits to the two states as they head for assembly elections in a few months from now.
In West Bengal, where PM Modi’s BJP is keenly looking to replace the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government, he will address the Parakram Diwas celebrations, marking Bose’s 125th birth anniversary, at Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial, on January 23, according to a government release.
Among other programmes in the Prime Minister’s schedule are the inauguration of a permanent exhibition and a projection mapping show on the iconic freedom fighter. A commemorative coin and postage stamp will also be released by the Prime Minister on the occasion, the release said.
A cultural programme, Amra Nuton Jouboneri Doot, will be held based on Netaji. At the National Library in Kolkata, an International Conference, “Re-visiting the Legacy of Netaji Subhas in the 21st Century” is being organised, along with an Artists’ Camp. PM Modi will attend both events.
On the same day, he will visit Jerenga Pathar in Assam’s Sivasagar district to distribute 1.06 lakh land pattas or allotment certificates. This is in keeping with the state government’s comprehensive new land policy and taking into account an urgent need to protect the land rights of indigenous people of the state. The certificates have been given the highest priority in order to instill a sense of security among the state’s natives, according to the release.
Assam had 5.75 lakh landless families in 2016. The present BJP government has distributed 2.28 lakh such pattas since May 2016. The ceremony on 23rd January marks the next step in this process, the release said.
The state, too, goes to polls in March-April, with the BJP looking to retain power. The party has faced a lot of backlash in the past year or more over the implementation of the National Citizen Registry.