The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata mob for BJP rally

Calcutta, April 23: Not so long ago, the two allies, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress and the BJP, were known for their unvarnished hostility towards each other than joint endeavour to fight the ruling leftists.

However, after the BJP central leadership effected what can be described as a “regime change” in the state unit by removing Tapan Sikdar from the party’s top post, “peace”, “amity” and “collaboration” have become buzzwords for the two allies whose leaders have put away the long knives and begun to strategise together.

On Wednesday, a measure of the new found camaraderie was available when it became known through the grapevine that Mamata has taken it upon herself to mobilise the crowd for the BJP rally lined up at Shahid Minar tomorrow.

“Didi (Mamata) has asked us to organise a good crowd for tomorrow’s rally,” said an important Trinamul manager who has been asked to bring in party supporters in sizeable numbers from different parts of south Calcutta. “We have made satisfactory arrangements on this score.”

Tomorrow’s rally, organised by the state BJP to launch the campaign for the May 11 panchayat elections, will be attended, among others,by party president Venkaiah Naidu, one of the major backers of Mamata’s bid for a ministerial berth.

“We did not actually seek her help to make the rally a success,” said a BJP leader. “But she was gracious enough to ask her party functionaries... to attend the rally with supporters. It was apparent that she and other Trinamul leaders are taking our alliance very seriously.”

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