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Power players on Brigade

Calcutta, Dec. 27: Narendra Modi will address his maiden Calcutta rally at the Brigade on February 5, the date sandwiched between planned public meetings of Mamata Banerjee and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at the same venue.

All three rallies are being viewed as campaign meetings for the Lok Sabha polls.

BJP sources said the party’s prime ministerial candidate would arrive in the city on February 5 and address the rally the same day. “It will be a historic event,” state BJP chief Rahul Sinha said.

The last time the BJP had held a rally at Brigade was in 1997. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the main speaker.

During a visit to Bengal in April, Gujarat chief minister Modi had addressed two indoor programmes. The BJP will organise 100 rallies throughout Bengal after Modi’s rally.

Asked about Modi’s Brigade rally, a Trinamul general secretary said tonight: “Take it from me, no other rally will come close to Mamatadi’s meeting in terms of crowd.”

Trinamul state president Subrata Bakshi said: “We have started campaigning for the chief minister’s January 30 Brigade rally. The crowd will spill out of the venue.”

The CPM said its rally on February 9 would “focus” on people’s issues. “Individuals do not matter much for us,” said CPM state secretariat member Mohammed Salim.