Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to start Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign in West Bengal ahead of the upcoming assembly elections by addressing a mega rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata on Sunday. The party got a massive boost in the state before PM Modi arrived at the venue, as veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty formally joined the party.
Mithun Chakraborty arrived on the stage much earlier, and was joined by BJP leaders in the state like Kailash Vijayvargiya and others.
PM Modi’s rally will be the culmination of the BJP’s “Parivartan Yatra”, and the party expects that around 10 lakh people will attend the rally. This is PM Modi’s first visit to West Bengal since the state’s assembly election dates were announced last week.
Earlier, PM Modi had visited the state three times in the past few months. The stage is all set to welcome Prime Minister Modi to Kolkata, and the state unit of the party has made massive arrangements in the run-up to the much-anticipated rally.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a public rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata today pic.twitter.com/45TZyJPEhk— ANI (@ANI) March 7, 2021
At the historic Brigade ground, a 72-feet long main stage has been set up. Two other stages have also been set up, one for Tollywood actors and another for other important personalities.
Apart from the massive crowd that has already gathered to witness PM Modi addressing the rally, another thing that is sure to annoy CM Mamata Banerjee is chants of Jai Shri Ram that the BJP supporters are already chanting at the ground. The CM is known to have particular hatred for the chant, and have attacked Hindu crowd for chanting it in front of her.
TMC rebels to join the rally, BJP expects Sourav Ganguly to be present
More than 28 Trinamool MLAs who missed out on party tickets are also expected to be present at the PM Modi’s rally. There were rumours that former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly may also be present at the Brigade Ground to witness PM Modi’s rally. However, it is not sure yet whether the current BCCI President will attend the event.
Meanwhile, the BJP has not yet given up on BCCI president Sourav Ganguly joining the Brigade show. Recently, amidst the rumours of him joining the BJP, the former Team India captain had told a private channel that he was a sportsman and would not take political questions.
Ahead of PM Modi’s rally, BJP supporters from across the state have started converging at the Brigade ground in Kolkata. Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and state minder Kailash Vijayvargiya visited the venue on Saturday to oversee arrangements.
More than 1,500 CCTV cameras have been installed across the city for security purposes. Security arrangements have been put in place, and drone cameras will also be used to monitor the venue. The rally is expected to be attended by at least 7 lakh people.
The BJP workers have reached out to households with written invitations for the rally. The party has also appealed to Hindu organisations to mobilise its cadres for the historic rally.
This rally will be the first of the Prime Minister’s 20-odd rallies scheduled to be held in the state ahead of the assembly elections. The rally also comes a day after the party announced its first list of 57 candidates for the polls. Two days before, the incumbent Trinamool Congress had announced its contestants for the 291 constituencies while leaving three seats for its ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
The Congress party has aligned with the left parties and radical Islamic cleric Abbas Siddiqui’s ISF to take on the TMC as well as the BJP in the battle for Bengal. The eight-phase Assembly polls for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will begin on March 27. The results will be announced on May 2.