Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has taken the first step towards capitalising on Nandigram for the Lok Sabha elections by launching her campaign from Nandigram in East Midnapore district, about 70 km south-west of Kolkata, on Saturday.
She began by accepting a kalash (vessel) filled with the “soil of Nandigram” from the families of the 14 people who were killed two years ago on this day when police and CPI(M) cadres opened fire on a peasant’s rally.
The vessel, she promised, would be taken to all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies. Also, she brought her party’s election manifesto to the “holy” soil of Nandigram, though she didn’t make it public yet.
With Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, a senior leader of the Congress — her new ally — by her side, Mamata promised better days. “Food for all mouths. Work for all hands. This will be our slogan for the election,” she said.
She said, “The seeds have been sown in the panchayat election and the fruits will come in the Lok Sabha elections. And if that happens, we would throw the CPI(M) out of West Bengal in the next assembly elections.”
But the rally at Hazrakata ground here had to be cut short, as she couldn’t use microphones. The administration earlier sent a notice to the party, barring the use of loudspeakers, following a high court ban on use of microphones from three days prior to the Higher Secondary examination.
As the Trinamool leadership used a few sound boxes to reach out to the massive gathering, district magistrate C.D. Lama threatened steps would be taken against the organisers after watching the video-graph of the programme.