Kolkata gears up for Mamata's mega meet
With large cut-outs, posters and banners at almost every nook and corner of the city being installed, efforts are on to mobilise support for the Martyrs' Day programme by the Trinamool Congress on July 21.
Preparations are in full swing to make it a grand success. Additional policemen will be deployed and drones are to be used to intensify vigil. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will address the gathering at 12 noon from the stage that will be constructed on Chittaranjan Avenue opposite Victoria House. Traffic along CR Avenue and its adjoining roads will be diverted as and when necessary. Senior police officers including Commissioner of Police Rajeev Kumar visited the site where the podium is being constructed. Trinamool Congress leaders including Subrata Bakshi and Mukul Roy also visited the site on Wednesday.
No goods truck will be allowed in the city on that day from 8 am to 8 pm. Bomb squads and dog squads will be conducting frisking operations. Around 1 lakh party supporters are expected to reach the city from the districts by July 20 evening.
There will be rallies from different directions in the city. Major processions will be taken out from Howrah and Sealdah stations, SP Mukherjee Road, CR Avenue, Beliaghata, Diamond Harbour Road. Hundreds of vehicles will come from North and South 24 Parganas via VIP Road, Diamond Harbour Road and Vidyasagar Setu. Vehicles from neighbouring districts will be parked along Strand Road, Palashi Ghat, St. Georges Gate and its adjoining roads. Vehicles will be parked along AJC Bose Road and APC Road. Measures have been taken to resume normal traffic along CR Avenue within one hour of the rally.
Trinamool Congress leaders said party supporters and sympathisers from Bihar and Jharkhand are expected to come to the city to attend the rally. Shantiram Mahato, state minister for Paschimnchal Affairs Development department, is holding rallies in Jhargram on Wednesday which were attended by party workers in large numbers.
Arrangements have been made for the party workers who will come from the districts. They will be put up in camps set up in different parts in the city. Also roadside camps will be made along important thoroughfares to guide the supporters to the venue. These camps will be manned by councilors. Party workers with colourful costumes will come from Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram and West Midnapore and will perform traditional folk songs and dances.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to make some important announcements from the podium to counter unabated false propaganda on social media by the BJP to create communal tension in different parts of the state. As the Panchayat elections are scheduled next year, Banerjee will give instructions to leaders and workers to highlight the state government's various programmes. Despite her repeated warnings, reports of infighting continue to come to light and she is expected to address the matter at the rally.