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TMC springs Dev on Modi

Durgapur, April 25: The Trinamul Congress has decided to counter Narendra Modi with Dev.

Tollywood’s hero No. 1 and Trinamul nominee for the Lok Sabha polls will participate in a roadshow in Asansol on May 4, when the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is scheduled to address a rally in the town.

Local BJP leaders alleged that Trinamul had planned the roadshow, where other Tollywood stars are expected to join Dev, to deflect attention from Modi’s rally.

The roadshow by Dev, the Trinamul candidate for Ghatal in West Midnapore, will take place around 15km from the venue of the Gujarat chief minister’s proposed campaign rally for Asansol BJP nominee Babul Supriyo.

Yesterday, BJP leaders had said Asansol, which votes on May 7, would be the venue of one of five possible rallies to be addressed by Modi in Bengal.

Asansol Trinamul nominee Dola Sen today held a media conference in the town to announce a host of campaign rallies to be addressed in her constituency. “We will organise a roadshow on May 4 where Dev will be present. A group of other film stars will also attend the rally along with minister Arup Biswas,” she said.

The names of the Tollywood stars who will join Dev are yet to be decided, Trinamul sources said.

Dola said chief minister Mamata Banerjee would address a rally at the Polo Ground in Asansol on April 30.

Mamata had held three rallies in Asansol on April 4. The BJP is expected to do well in Raniganj and Asansol town, which have a substantial Hindi-speaking population. Singer Supriyo’s campaign events in these areas have been drawing sizeable crowds.

Singer Nachiketa will attend a Trinamul roadshow on April 29 in Asansol town. Actress-MP Satabdi Roy, who has been renominated for the Birbhum Lok Sabha seat, will campaign in Asansol from May 1 to May 4, Dola said.

Trinamul sources said the decision to lodge a police complaint alleging that Supriyo had led an armed attack on party leaders and activists, and the police case against him for a roadblock had not gone down well with a section in the ruling party that believes the moves gave the BJP candidate “undue publicity”.

Manish Sharma, a BJP leader in Raniganj, said today: “Bringing Tollywood stars to Asansol on the day Modiji is expected to address a rally is a ploy by Trinamul to deflect people’s attention from him.”

Dola denied the allegation and said Dev’s roadshow had been planned earlier. “The BJP has no place in Bengal and there is no Modi wave.”