The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trinamul to hoist poll sail

Calcutta, July 20: Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress will kick off its campaign for next year’s Lok Sabha polls tomorrow with its youth wing’s programme to commemorate the deaths of 13 Youth Congress activists in police firing on July 21, 1993.

A decade ago, Mamata was the state Youth Congress chief.

“We will use tomorrow’s platform to announce our course of action keeping next year’s elections in mind,” said Pankaj Banerjee, the leader of Opposition in the Assembly.

Traffic in Calcutta’s business district is likely to be thrown out of gear as the Youth Congress, which is part of the Congress, has lined up twin rallies alongside the Trinamul roadshow.

State Youth Congress chief Amitabha Chakraborty will lead a rally to Lalbazar while supporters led by general secretary Piyal Chowdhury will organise a sit-in at the foot of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on Mayo Road. Mamata’s meet will be at Esplanade.

Though deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani had virtually negated Trinamul’s demand for imposition of Article 356 in the state during his recent visit to the city, its leaders said they would again press for it tomorrow.

Defence minister and NDA convener George Fernandes and Bengal BJP president Tathagata Roy will attend the Esplanade rally.

“We will reiterate our demand for President’s rule in Bengal because we have realised that free and fair elections are not possible under the CPM’s rule. We have already placed our demand before the Prime Minister and the deputy Prime Minister. We will go on making the demand,” said Banerjee.

Police are yet to give a green signal to the rallies in the heart of the city on a working day. The Trinamul leadership said it was not bothered. “The land belongs to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and it has permitted us,” said party general secretary Ashish Chakraborty.

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