Siliguri, Sept. 1: Trinamul supporters would line the road from Bagdogra to Siliguri to welcome chief minister Mamata Banerjee tomorrow, party sources said here.
Also, on the road from Siliguri to Kalimpong, “felicitations of the chief minister have been planned in places such as Sevoke, Kalijhora and Chitray”, a Trinamul source said. The places are on NH31A.
A Trinamul insider said that several Lepcha families from other parts of the hills and the plains had moved to Kalimpong yesterday when the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had relaxed the strike.
“Several of them, living in the hills and the plains, were worried that they would not be able to attend the event because of the ongoing strike. Yesterday, they got the chance and moved to Kalimpong. Hundreds of them are staying there, and waiting for Tuesday’s event,” a Trinamul source said.
Mamata is scheduled to be felicitated in Kalimpong by the Lepcha community on September 3. But the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee has announced a two-day ghar bhitra janata protest on September 2-3.
On the administrative side, elaborate arrangements are under way for the chief minister’s security during the trip.
“Considering the present state of affairs in the hills, appropriate arrangements are being made to ensure the chief minister’s security. Necessary deployment of security forces, including central paramilitary forces, would be made in Kalimpong and surrounding areas,” a senior state official said.
Krishna Pal, the Darjeeling district secretary general of Trinamul, said: “It is a challenge for our party to make the programme a success. We are determined to ensure the presence of thousands of party workers and common people from the hills at the event in Kalimpong and pass a clear message to the Morcha that we enjoy substantial support in the hills and that people in general are not supporting the strike.”
Asked if supporters from the plains would be taken to Kalimpong, Pal said: “It would be wrong to say that people from plains would swarm Kalimpong. Only district-level leaders from the plains might go to the hills.”
Trinamul leaders claimed today that the party was flooded with requisitions for vehicles from hill hamlets.
“People from different corners of the hills, whether it is a remote area like Rongu in Kalimpong or Darjeeling town, have asked for vehicles. It is not only our party workers and supporters but people in general want to attend the event,” said Binny Sharma, spokesperson of the Darjeeling Hill Trinamul.
NBSTC, which runs 22 buses on different hill routes, has been requested to ply more buses on the Kalimpong-Siliguri route so that people living in Sevoke, Kalijhora, Chitray, Rambhi and Teesta Bazar, can attend the event.