Union Home Minister Amit Shah will arrive in Kolkata on Friday night on a two-day visit to take stock of the Bharatiya Janata Party's affairs in the state as the assembly elections draw near, amid a rebellion within the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Speculations are rife that heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, who quit the Trinamool Congress and gave up cabinet portfolios in the Mamata Banerjee government, may join BJP during Shah's visit along with a slew of disgruntled TMC leaders, including some MLAs such as Silbhadra Dutta and Jitendra Tiwari.
Shah will be staying at a hotel in Newtown after arriving in Kolkata, a BJP leader said.
"On Saturday morning, he has a scheduled meeting with NIA officials. Then he will visit Swami Vivekanada's residence in north Kolkata to pay tributes," the state BJP leader said.
"Later, Shah will travel to Midnapore where he will pay tributes to revolutionary Khudiram Bose and offer puja at two temples," he said.
After this, he will visit a farmer's home for lunch, followed by a public rally at the Midnapore College ground.
"There are chances that several TMC leaders will join the party at this rally. After the rally, he will return to Kolkata and hold meetings with state leaders and take stock of the organisation," the BJP leader said.
On Sunday, Shah is scheduled to visit the Visva-Bharati university in Shantiniketan and then have lunch at the house of a Baul singer.
"He will then lead a roadshow in Bolpur. It will be followed by a press conference. After that, he will leave for Delhi," the BJP leader said.
Shah's visit comes in the backdrop of growing animosity between the Centre and the state with the home ministry asking the West Bengal government to immediately relieve its three IPS officers for central deputation, provoking a combative Mamata Banerjee to brand the move as 'unconstitutional and unacceptable'.
BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh has said that Shah and party president JP Nadda would visit West Bengal every month till the assembly elections, likely in April-May, are over.
Nadda was on a day-long visit to north Bengal in October and came on a two-day tour last week, while Shah was in the state for two days in November.