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BIMAN THROWS OBAMA GAUNTLET

CPM state secretary Biman Bose on Saturday threatened that the party would launch a “massive agitation” if US President Barack Obama was invited by the state government to Calcutta on January 12 next year to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

“Vivekananda had addressed the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 for the sake of humanitarian causes. But what are we witnessing these days? The US is working against human interests,” Bose told a gathering at Deshabandhu Park after a procession against imperialism.

“The US is trying to spread its dominance in Asia and making efforts to capture Indian markets too. Given this, if Barack Obama is invited on January 12 next year, we won’t let him set foot in Calcutta,” the Left Front chairman said.

“Calcutta will boil if the US President is invited on that day. We will organise a massive agitation,” he added.

Writers’ sources said the state government had not sent any invitation to Obama’s office.

Traffic on almost all major arteries in central and north Calcutta was severely affected for several hours in the afternoon as over 90,000 people walked in the Left procession.

The rally started near Gostho Pal’s statue opposite the Eden Gardens at 1.05pm and ended at Deshabandhu Park near Shyambazar around 4.15pm.