Poll rivals join sex workers' rally!

Published on May 01, 2004 10:16 PM IST

All three main contestants for the Calcutta North West seat joined forces with sex workers at a midnight candle rally demanding their rights.

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HT Image
PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Kolkata

In a pre-poll show of solidarity for the 15,000-strong sex workers' community in the Calcutta North West Lok Sabha seat, all three prominent political party candidates contesting for the seat marched on the streets in a midnight candle rally demanding trade rights for them.

The procession, which began from Asia's largest red light area of Sonagachi and ended near the College Square past midnight, saw mayor and Nationalist Trinamool Congress candidate Subrato Mukherjee join his rivals -- rebel Trinamool leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, contesting as a Congress-backed independent, and CPI(M)'s Sudhansu Seal -- in the front row.

Incidentally, the Mayor had promised some time back that if voted to power he would look into the long-pending demand of granting trade licences to the sex workers prompting his rivals to lodge a complaint with the state Chief Electoral Officer of grounds of violation of the model code of conduct.

On the eve of May Day, over 6000 sex workers holding candles and placards that sought complete labour rights, also became the meeting ground for a few more poll rivals -- Calcutta North East candidates Md Salim (CPIM) and Ajit Panja (NTC).

In the star-studded carnival, Tollywood was also amply represented with Sudip Bandyopadhyay's actress wife Nayna, actor Arjun Chakraborty and director Gautam Ghose. PTI SBP ANK RP 05012025 D

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