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Buddha rally shift

Bhattacharjee at the Burdwan rally. (Krishna Das)

Burdwan, Dec. 24: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today addressed a rally in Burdwan town on a smaller ground after the municipality denied the CPM the use of a venue twice the size.

The football field on which the rally was organised can hold 30,000 people while Utsav Maidan, which the CPM had sought, has space for 60,000.

Although police said 15,000 people attended the rally, CPM leaders said around 80,000 people had come. A giant screen was put up 500m from the ground for those who could not find space at the venue.

Bhattacharjee did not make any direct reference to the denial of permission. He said: “We never disallowed Opposition meetings, never arrested Opposition leaders, never attacked their party offices. But Trinamul and its government are doing that.”

Swarup Dutta, the civic body chief, said: “There’s no question of amra-ora (us and them). The municipality will hold Poura Utsav (a civic festival) on Utsav Maidan from December 25. So, we had no option but to deny permission.”