Amit Shah likely to attend Eastern Zonal Council meeting in Kolkata on Dec 17

Kolkata: Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to visit Kolkata on December 17 to attend the Eastern Zonal Council meeting. Sources in Nabanna’s West Bengal Secretariat have revealed  that originally the Eastern Zonal Council meeting was to be held on November 5, which was cancelled due to other busy schedules of the Union Home Minister. Sources said the Union home minister’s office has chosen December 17 as the tentative date for the meeting, though the final confirmation on this date is yet to reach the state secretariat.

A state government official said that if the meeting takes place, it will be held in the auditorium adjacent to the state secretariat in Nabanna. Apart from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang are also likely to attend the meeting.

Political observers are of the view that the meeting and especially the visit of the Union Home Minister to the state to attend it is expected to be significant on various counts. It remains to be seen whether apart from the Eastern Zonal Council meeting, there will be a separate one-to-one meeting between Amit Shah and Mamata Banerjee.

Sources in the state secretariat said that nothing has been confirmed in this regard yet. Political observers, however, believe that if the meeting takes place, it will be crucial ahead of the three-tier panchayat polls in the state next year, over which tensions between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition BJP are already at its peak.

Lastly, 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 Nitish is emerging as an important opposition face ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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