Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is set to steal a march over Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Before the latter comes calling at Kharagpore, a town which is part of the Jangalmahal region of West Midnapore, to address his first of a wave of campaign events in poll-bound Bengal, the Trinamool Congress chief would camp in the district and hold a volley of rallies starting Friday.
The Trinamool chief will hold her first rally at Lalgarh, under Jhargram assembly constituency. It was epicentre of the Maoist movement in the region.
“Starting Friday, March 26, chief minister Mamata Banerjee will hold several rallies in West Midnapore. Apart from addressing the public, she will also take part in road shows across the district,” Dinen Roy, district Trinamool president in West Midnapore, said.
According to Trinamool sources, the chief minister is scheduled to arrive in Lalgarh on Friday and hold her first rally at 1 pm. She would then head for a similar event at Goaltore, part of the Salboni assembly constituency which had been a known Maoist stronghold. Later, on Friday afternoon, she will lead a road show in Midnapore town.
On Saturday, the Trinamool chief will hold three more rallies in areas under Binpur, Gopiballavpur and Nayagram assembly constituencies. These constituencies are to go to polls on April 4.
Days after the Prime Minister is to hold a rally in Kharagpore, the Trinamool chief will counter with four more rallies in the area.
Party sources said though the Trinamool chief is scheduled to attend a wave of campaign events in West Midnapore, she would likely skip Narayangarh, the home seat of CPI(M) leader and leader of opposition in the Assembly Suryakanta Mishra and Sabang, the home seat of Congress MLA Manas Bhuniya.
“After the Prime Minister’s rally at Kharagpore, Mamata Banerjee will hold similar events at Kharagpore town and the surrounding rural areas as well as in Dantan and Keshiary. However, we’re surprised that she has chosen not to address the public at Narayangarh and Sabang, the two seats we’re desperately keen to win,” a local Trinamool leader said.
On March 27, Saturday, Prime Minister Modi will address a rally on the BNR Ground of Kharagpore. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh is the party’s nominee in the Kharagpore seat.
On March 31, Thursday, BJP national president Amit Shah will hold a rally in Nayagram.
Congress sources said party vice-president Rahul Gandhi could visit Kharagpore to campaign for veteran nominee Gyan Singh Sohanpal. Known locally as Chacha, the nonagenarian is sitting MLA from the seat.