Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will sharpen BJP's campaign for the high-octane assembly elections in West Bengal with a mega rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata on Sunday.
The Prime Minister's Sunday rally is said to be culmination of the "Parivartan Yatra" launched by the saffron party in the poll-bound Bengal in February this year.
"Prime Minister will set the tone of the election campaign with a rally at Brigade grounds," a BJP leader said.
Modi will land at Kolkata airport at 1:20 pm and will directly go to Brigade Parade Ground where he will address the rally at 2 pm. Here is the full schedule of PM Modi's day-long Kolkata stay:
*Time: 1:20 PM - Arrival at Kolkata International Airport (CCU)
*Time: 2 PM - Address the Public Meeting at Brigade Parade Ground
*Time: 6:15 PM - Departure from Kolkata Airport
Sunday's rally will be the first major event of the saffron party in West Bengal after declaration of eight-phase elections in the state. The BJP has planned to make it a grand success with a record crowd presence which the iconic ground has never witnessed.
More than 1,500 CCTV cameras have been installed across the city for security purposes. Drone cameras will also be used to monitor the venue. The rally is expected to be attended by at least 7 lakh people, sources said.
Along with the main stage which is 72-feet long, two other stages have been set up, one for Tollywood actors and another for important personalities present at the rally. The two stages are 48-feet length, 24-feet width and 7-feet height. Special Protection Group and Kolkata Police have deployed special units for the security of the rally.
Three main barricades have been strategically placed toward the main stage for security purpose. Barricades and a helipad has been created at the Race Course near the Brigade Ground.
Bharatiya Janata Party has installed LED screens at the ground for the convenience of the people.
Just a week ago, Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front (ISF) alliance organised a massive public meeting at the Brigade Parade Ground which witnessed the presence of lakhs of supporters.
The BJP has gone all out to campaign for the rally launching innovative campaigns, from social media to the streets. The party activists have been hosting flash mobs over the past few weeks at several locations across the state, including busy traffic intersections and crowded localities to rally a large number of people at the Sunday event.
After having a limited presence in the politically polarised state for decades, the BJP has emerged as the ruling Trinamool Congress's main rival by winning 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal 2019 general elections,only four less than TMC's tally of 22.
With the BJP's strength increasing in the state in the last few years, its leaders are upbeat that the party will end Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's 10-year rule in the state polls.
Elections for the West Bengal assembly will be held in eight phases beginning with polling for 30 seats on March 27. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already drawn the battleline with declaration of TMC candidate list Friday.
Banerjee, who heads Trinamool Congress, announced names of 291 candidates and left three seats for the ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling. Congress-Left Front-Indian Secular Front of the Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui have joined hands to challenge the TMC as well as the BJP in the battle for Bengal.
The eight-phase Assembly polls for the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal will begin on March 27. West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray.
(With inputs from agencies)