Thousands gather for Mamata’s march in Bengal

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Mar 15, 2016 12:33 IST
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at a rally ahead of the upcoming Assembly election in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

A sea of people had taken over the NH 117 aka Diamond Harbour Road on Sunday evening when Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee marched from Thakurpukur to Behala – a 6-km stretch – in the southwestern fringes of Kolkata to campaign for two of her party’s heavyweight candidates – Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee from Behala East, and education minister Partha Chatterjee from Behala West.

A few thousand of Trinamool supporters gathered on Diamond Harbour Road on Sunday evening to walk the stretch with their leader. Besides Sovan Chatterjee, party’s all-India general secretary Subrata Bakshi was present at the rally. Bakshi walked the entire distance with Banerjee, while the mayor took a ride on a motor bike.

The crowd that gathered on Diamond Harbour Road on Sunday evening had exceeded the estimates of Trinamool leaders and at times it became almost impossible for the local leaders to control the crowd. It became chaotic at times as many of her supporters started running after her to keep up their leader’s pace. Mamata Banerjee has a reputation of walking fast for long distances. On Sunday, she had to stop several times to bring the rallying supporters under control.

Seeing the crowd, a confident Sovan Chatterjee said, “We are confident of increasing the margin in both the seats in Behala. We are receiving more support from people than ever.”

The procession started at 4.10pm, about 20 minutes before schedule and completed covering the distance by 5.15pm. Throughout the rally, Banerjee was seen waving hands at people who had gathered along the pavements and on the rooftops, balconies and windows of the buildings on both flanks of the road to see her. Carrying various posters and placards, supporters chanted slogans urging people to vote for Trinamool and reject the ‘unholy alliance’ between the Left Front and the Congress. Banerjee, however, did not deliver any speech.

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