Kolkata: With lakhs of people expected to converge here the city is bracing up for the Trinamool Congress mega rally Monday, billed as thanksgiving for the party’s success in the Lok Sabha polls.
Originally observed as Martyrs’ Day in remembrance of 13 youths killed in police firing July 21, 1993, the Trinamool has now christened it as the Maa Maati Manush Divas.
A grand stage is being erected in front of Victoria House at Esplanade from where party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will address a gathering, which Trinamool leaders expect to be over a million strong.
Banerjee is expected to provide the roadmap to Trinamool workers for combating the Bharatiya Janata Party which has become more active in the state since the general election.
The BJP, which won two Lok Sabha seats in the state, is endeavouring to establish itself as the main opposition to the Trinamool in the wake of the Communist Party of India Marxist-led Left Front’s continuing downslide in what was once a red bastion.
Over the past couple of months, a sizeable number of Left Front, Congress and even Trinamool workers have joined the BJP, which is eyeing the municipal polls slated to be held later this year or early 2015 to raise its stature in a state where it has traditionally been weak.
Besides spelling out the strategy for the municipal polls, Banerjee could also lay down the party line for opposing the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the centre.
The Trinamool has adopted a blow hot-blow cold approach to the Modi government.
While it created a din over issues like the general and railway budgets, it lent its support to the central dispensation to pass the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act amendment bill, paving the way for the appointment of former TRAI chairman Nripendra Misra as Modi’s principal secretary.
As is usual in Banerjee’s programmes now, a bevy of Bengali film stars including the likes of reigning superstar and party MP Dev will glam up the event.
Earlier this week, several party leaders held a meeting with police to chalk out plans for the mega rally for which lakhs of supporters from across the state will be converging.
With the event likely to witness a stream of processions throwing traffic off gear, several schools have announced a holiday while daily commuters may face a harrowing time as most of the buses are expected to ferry Trinamool supporters to the venue and back.
However, Transport Minister Madan Mitra has assured a sufficient number of buses for commuters.