The south is red in Buddha’s Jadavpur
The southern fringes of the city, starting from Jadavpur, were hit by a tsunami, bringing life to a virtual standstill and leaving residents awe-struck on Saturday. HT reports.kolkata Updated: Apr 10, 2011 14:46 IST
The southern fringes of the city, starting from Jadavpur, were hit by a tsunami, bringing life to a virtual standstill and leaving residents awe-struck on Saturday.
But this tsunami saw no dusty storm, nor did an earthquake trigger it. It was a tsunami of people, of red comrades and of those warriors on whom the Left Front is depending to win the assembly elections. It was chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s first road show of the season.
The epicentre was the Jadavpur police station crossing on Raja Subodh Mullick Road and the time was 4 pm. The waves had already started to lash the pavements and roads as hundreds of party supporters equipped with flags and banners, wearing red shirts and caps poured in, shouting slogans that were bound to catch the attention of every passerby. And their strength grew with every passing second.
Around 5.10 pm, when Bhattacharjee arrived sitting alone in the back seat of his white Ambassador. As he took a glance at his trusted warriors as his convoy swerved pass them to stop near the gate of Jadavpur University, the crowd cheered.
The uproar meant that their leader had arrived. As he boarded a Matadaor, hundreds of hands tried to reach him just to touch their leader. Bhattacharjee, however, didn’t disappoint them. He reached out to shake hands with the supporters from atop the vehicle. It was around 5.20 pm when the wave started moving.
“We have just started from Jadavpur University and the crowd has already crossed Baghajatin (nearly three kilometres away),” said Nimai Sarkar, a CPI(M) supporter.
As the rally marched down the road, thousands of local residents and passers-by gathered on the pavements, peeped out of the windows of their houses and leaned from terraces and balconies to have just one glance of the leader. While some waved at the chief minister, others threw flowers and garlands at him and some showed the symbolic victory sign (V sign).
Bhattacharjee greeted them with folded hands, saluted them with clenched fists, waved at the crowd and reciprocated with the V sign.
“The crowd is larger than what we had seen on April 3, when Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee walked along this road from Gariahat to Garia. If she had a sea of followers, then Buddha has an ocean after him,” said Ratan Sengupta, the owner of a pan shop in Jadavpur.
But while Banerjee had walked the entire 8 km stretch, Bhattacharjee covered the distance on his vehicle — a hoodless Mahindra jeep — flanked by other CPI(M) candidates such as Shatarup Ghosh, Partha Pratim Biswas and Shantanu Bose. Other top brass leaders such as Rabin Deb and Sujan Chakraborty were also present at the rally, sometimes boarding the vehicle, sometimes hitting the road with the other supporters.
As the rally progressed, supporters had a tough time in maintaining discipline. The excitement and anxiety among the supporters was so great that while some emerged with broken spectacles, few lost their chappals and others had their shirts and kurtis torn!
But Bhattacharjee moved on, smiling and confident of his win in the constituency.