Correspondent

BONGAIGAON, Feb 10: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will pay a personal visit to the residence of the founder of Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association (GCPA), a political party of West Bengal, at Chatipur in Chirang district under Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) on Thursday.

Ananta Roy aka Nagendra Roy (63), who claims himself as one of the founders of GCPA and is a descendant of a Koch king, said that he had met the Union Home Minister in Delhi last month and following the meeting, Shah had fixed the date of his visit to Roy’s residence at Chatipur.

The GCPA, which was formed in 1998, has seven sitting Members of Parliament and supports the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government at the Centre.  Hence, the party having a strong base in the northern part of West Bengal has gained importance for the BJP given the upcoming Assembly polls in West Bengal, a leader of the party said.

The GCPA, which has about 18.5 lakh workers and supporters in West Bengal, has a good grip in rural areas of the State. Besides, the party has over one lakh volunteers, known as ‘Narayani Sena’, who are dedicated to the party, Roy said, adding that his party’s demand is to form a separate State of ‘Greater Coochbehar’ on ethnic grounds. The demand has valid historical, constitutional and political base, he claimed.

Since West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress (TMC) dislikes the GCPA, so the party would certainly take the role of an opposition party in the State during the ensuing Assembly polls and that is why the BJP is interested to work with it, a party worker said.

As per some GCPA members, there is every possibility that the Union Home Minister will mainly discuss the political issues of West Bengal and current activities of Koch Rajbongshi groups in Assam with Roy in his residence on Thursday before leaving for Coochbehar where he was supposed to address a public meeting.

Already a team of special security guards have been deployed at Roy’s residence and in the locality. Chirang district Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police have continued their supervision rounds to ensure no security lapse during the visit of the Union Home Minister.