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War of posters erupts in West Bengal’s Midnapore ahead of PM Modi’s rally

While the Trinamool Congress had a head start in covering Midnapore with the party’s posters and festoons, BJP workers have strung festoons with pictures of Prime Minister, BJP president Amit Shah and the party’s Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2018 16:16 IST
Koushik Dutta and Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Koushik Dutta and Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times, Midnapore/Kolkata
Trinamool Congress,BJP,Modi
Posters of the Trinamool Congress and BJP haver erupted all over Midnapore ahead of the Prime Minister’s rally on Monday.(HT Photo)

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Midnapore in West Bengal’s West Mindapore district on Monday, the BJP and the Trinamool Congress traded barbs amid a poster war in the town.

The ruling Trinamool Congress is a few laps ahead of the BJP saffron forces in this show of strength. A day before Modi addresses a farmers’ rally, the TMC’s district leadership has wrapped the entire Midanpore town especially the area around the venue of Modi’s meeting with party flags, festoons and huge cutouts of Bengal chief minister and party president Mamata Banerjee.

Both sides of the road near the Midnapore College ground have been covered with the life size pictures of chief minister Mamata Banerjee standing with folded hands. The pictures have also been put up along other roads of the town leading to the college ground.

The BJP took pot shots at the TMC with the party’s national secretary Rahul Sinha Sinha giving his own spin to the chief minister’s cutouts.

“This is an indirect admission by Mamata Banerjee that she is welcoming the Prime Minister. At the same time, this is also an admission on her part that wherever BJP leaders will go chief minister’s pictures will be there to welcome our leaders with folded hands,” Sinha said.

While the TMC had a head start in covering Midnapore with the party’s posters and festoons, BJP workers have strung festoons with pictures of Prime Minister, BJP president Amit Shah and the party’s Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh.

The BJP has also decorated the venue in line with the rally’s theme. In his address, Modi is expected to detail how farmers have benefitted following the Union government’s decision to ensure 150% MSP for farmers for their kharif crops.

“Replicas of farmers sowing field with plough has been installed at several places at meeting venue of Midnapore College ground. The Prime Minister will be greeted with toka (farmer’s hat) and gamocha (coarse cotton towel). Monday’s meeting will be a historical event,” Sinha said.

Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha member Manas Bhuinya ridiculed Modi’s upcoming farmers’ rally. “How can Modi address the farmers’ issue after ignoring the chief minister’s demand for waiver of farmers’ loans? BJP is posing as a sympathizer of farmers. While in BJP- ruled states there had been series of farmers’ suicides, in Bengal there had not been any such incident,” he said.

The TMC is also planning to organize a rally at the same venue soon. Local Trinamool legislator Dinen Roy said August 9 is a tentative date for the rally.

“Nothing had been finalised yet. But in the previous years we have seen that our leaders have attended rallies which were organised on August 9 in the district. From the rally of July 21 at Kolkata, chief minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to announce the programme and we will follow her instructions”, Roy said.

On July 1, the TMC had organized a rally in Purulia district after Amit Shah’s meeting there on June 28. The BJP poked fun at the TMC for organizing ‘counter rallies’.

“Generally, the opposition parties organize counter rallies. But in case of West Bengal it is just the opposite, where the ruling party will be holding counter rallies. It is good that Trinamool is following us wherever we go,” said BJP’s state president in Bengal, Dilip Ghosh.

First Published: Jul 15, 2018 16:16 IST