Calcutta launch pad for Delhi battle

Rally race: PM show four days after Mamata's

By Our Correspondent in Calcutta
  • Published 22.07.18
The crowd at Trinamul's martyrs' day rally in Calcutta on Saturday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Calcutta: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address a public meeting on January 23 at the Brigade Parade Grounds in Calcutta, four days after Mamata Banerjee's "show of strength" of Opposition parties at the same venue, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said on Saturday.

Sinha announced the tentative date for Modi's "counter rally" within an hour of the Bengal chief minister declaring that she would host the January 19 event in which she said leaders of all Opposition parties would be invited.

"The BJP will soon launch rath yatras across Bengal covering all parliamentary and Assembly constituencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the rally, which will put an end to Mamata raaj in Bengal," Sinha said.

Mamata addresses the rally on Saturday; Narendra Modi. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Mamata should first try to "save her government in Bengal before dreaming about capturing Delhi", Sinha said. "Her speech was focused only on the BJP. Not a single word on the CPM and the Congress. She is clearly very scared by our rise," Sinha added.

According to state BJP sources, it had been decided during national party president Amit Shah's June trip to Bengal that one rath yatra would be organised for every three parliamentary constituencies. "Amitji had made it clear to us that there will be an all-out fight against Mamata and her Trinamul. Not an inch would be spared in the battle," a BJP insider said.

During his June trip, Shah set state BJP leaders the target of winning a "bare minimum" of 22 of Bengal's 42 Lok Sabha seats. While Shah is expected to arrive again in the first week of August for a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha programme in Calcutta, the Bengal BJP has planned four to five meetings for Modi after Diwali on November 7.