PM to hold rally in Kolkata, Mithun Chakraborty will attend, says Vijayvargiya: All you need to know
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will set the tone for the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) campaign for the upcoming assembly elections by addressing a mega rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds in West Bengal on Sunday.
The rally is significant as it will mark the culmination of the BJP's "Parivartan Yatra" and the party plans to gather around 10 lakh people for it, a crowd that the grounds have never witnessed before.
The BJP is expected to release the candidate list for the first two phases of the state assembly elections, which are scheduled to be held in the state from March 27 to April 6, after the rally.
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While Trinamool Congress (TMC) boss and chief minister Mamata Banerjee seeks to retain power in the upcoming elections, BJP, a fast emerging rival, has begun rigorous campaigning to end her 10-year rule in the state.
Here is all you need to know about the rally:
1. PM's Brigade rally will be the first major event of the party in West Bengal after declaration of the election schedule for the state.
2. In an attempt to gather a large crowd for the mega event, the BJP activists have been hosting flash mobs at several locations across the state over the past few weeks.
3. Former Trinamool Congress MP Mithun Chakraborty is also expected to attend the rally, according to BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. There were speculations of him joining the BJP, especially after he met the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat recently, but Vijayvargiya has said nothing has been discussed regarding this, according to the news agency PTI.
4. Reports of the Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly attending the rally were also doing the rounds. To this, the BJP reacted that "he is most welcome." "We know Sourav is under rest at home. If he considers attending the meeting, health and weather conditions permitting, he will be most welcome. If he is present, we think he will like it. The crowd will also like that. But we don't know. It is for him to decide," BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said.
5. The rally comes days after CM Banerjee released the TMC candidate list for the polls on Friday. She announced names of 291 candidates and left three seats for the TMC ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling. Congress-Left Front-Indian Secular Front of the Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui have joined hands to challenge the TMC as well as the BJP in the battle for Bengal.