Kolkata: As the days of the assembly polls is nearing, the ruling Trinamool Congress and its main opposition the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on their heels to test their might and popularity amongst the people of West Bengal.
Preparation is in full swing at Dunlop factory ground in Sahaganj in Hooghly district as both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to hold a public meeting at the same venue next week.
Within 48 hours of PM’s rally at Hooghly on February 22, just to test its might and popularity, the ruling Trinamool Congress will hold a public meeting at the same venue on February 24.
Representatives of both the parties on Wednesday were seen taking stock of the preparations of their respective rallies next week.
Taking a jibe at the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee said that the counter-rally of the ruling Trinamool Congress shows that the TMC is losing ground in the state.
“Soon after our program was announced the ruling TMC declared their counter-rally. Singur movement in Hooghly district had brought popularity to the TMC. But now this counter-rally is showing that the TMC knows that they don’t have the same popularity in Hooghly. The helipads and the stage we are preparing for Modi now the TMC wants to use the same,” claims the actor-turned-politician.
Notably, a recent trend that can be noticed by both the TMC and the BJP is publishing drone pictures on social media to show whose rally was attended by more people. Many times the leaders addressing the crowd always mention that there are large turnouts and even say ‘the ground fell short of accommodating the actual turnouts’.
According to poll analysts, such tact is being used not just to boost the morale of the party workers but also to send out an idea that their respective party is still popular amongst the people of West Bengal.
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh mentions that normally the oppositions follow the ruling party but in West Bengal, the picture is reversed.
“Following the BJP’s footprint clearly shows that the ruling Trinamool Congress has nothing left and the ideas given by their strategist is failing. Taking a queue from our Parivbartan Yatra, the TMC now decorated a van in the same manner and started calling it ‘Didir Doot’ (Didi’s messenger),” added the BJP MP of Midnapore.
Incidentally, the ruling Trinamool Congress on February 12 launched ‘Didir Doot’ (Didi’s messenger), a vehicle that will travel across the state to showcase the works done by the ruling Trinamool Congress in the last five years and will also hear the complaints of the people. The initiative was flagged off by TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee.
However, refusing to call it a ‘counter rally’, TMC Hooghly district president Dilip Yadav said that in keeping to the security of the Chief Minister and the turnout the venue was chosen as it is the largest ground in the Hooghly district.