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Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday began the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP’s) campaign for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas and Durgapur. PM Modi will hold rallies in both these places which are said to have political significance.

Thakurnagar (North 24 Parganas) is said to be the hub of the Matua community– which has influence in at least five Lok Sabha seats in both the North and South 24 Parganas districts. Meanwhile, the industrial town of Durgapur is near the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency is held by Union Minister Babul Supriyo.

The Matuas originally belong to erstwhile East Pakistan who migrating to West Bengal at the beginning of the 1950s mostly due to religious persecution. The PM’s rally which is being organised by the BJP-aligned faction of All India Matua Mahasangha is going to be near the house of Matua matriarch Binapani Debi.

The BJP state unit is hopeful that PM Modi will speak on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill at Thakurnagar. However, the Durgapur rally will be part of BJP’s ‘Ganatantra Bachao’ (Save Democracy) programme in the state.

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “Just as our party president Amit Shah had started the poll campaign in Bengal from Malda in a public rally on January 23, Modiji will kick start the campaign in Nadia and Burdwan West districts and boost our Bengal campaign.”

PM Modi is scheduled to address his third rally on February 8 at Siliguri in North Bengal, one of the areas where BJP had witnessed a surge in its vote share in the last panchayat polls. West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said apart from PM Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and many other top leaders will attend several ‘Ganatantra Bachao’ rallies across the state.

The TMC had on January 19 organised a mega opposition rally which was attended by leaders of 24 parties from across the country, including the Congress. The TMC had alleged that the CBI was being misused by the Centre to harass opposition parties.