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Scurry for PM rally venues

For the April 23 rally, the BJP applied for the Polo ground at Asansol in West Burdwan

By Snehamoy Chakraborty in Bolpur(Birbhum)
  • Published 17.04.19, 3:30 AM
  • Updated 17.04.19, 3:30 AM
  • a min read
The Dak Bungalow ground in Bolpur. Picture by Indrajit Roy

The BJP is yet to finalise venues of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed election rallies in West Burdwan on April 23 and Birbhum the following day.

For the April 23 rally, the BJP applied for the Polo ground at Asansol in West Burdwan, where Modi had addressed a meeting in 2016. But the Asansol mayor said the ground had been booked for several programmes between April 20 and 26.

“How can we give permission for any event on April 23 as the Polo ground is booked from April 20 till 26 for different programmes. We can’t cancel any programme that has already been booked,” mayor Jitendra Kumar Tiwari, who is also the chairman of the committee that gives permission for the Polo ground events.

However, the BJP threatened to move court if the ground was not given for the Prime Minister’s rally.

“No one told us that the Polo ground had already been booked while we applied for it. We know the ground is under the control of Trinamul leaders. If they don’t give us permission, we will move court,” said Lakshman Ghorui, the BJP's west Burdwan district president said.

In Birbhum, the BJP approached the zilla parishad for its Dak Bungalow ground at Bolpur for Modi’s rally on April 24, but the party is yet to get permission.

Bikash Roy Chowdhury, the sabhadhipati of Birbhum zilla parishad, said: “We have already granted permission to another political party to hold a rally at the Dak Bungalow ground on April 24.”

Sources in the zilla parishad said the ground had been given to the CPM for a rally to be addressed by the party's state secretary, Surjyakanta Mishra, on April 24.

Gautam Ghosh, a state committee member of the CPM, admitted that they party had received permission for the ground on April 24.

The BJP is also planning to shift the venue to Rampurhat or Suri, instead of Bolpur, if it can’t find a large ground.

Visva-Bharati has several grounds but BJP leaders in Bolpur said there was no tradition of holding political rallies on the university's grounds.