National

PM Modi to address rally in Kolkata on April 3

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on April 02, 2019 Published on April 02, 2019

BJP workers prepare the stage for PM Narendra Modi’s mega rally at The Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata.

Kolkata’s historic Brigade Parade Ground, a preferred venue for protests, is set to witness its first covered rally on April 3 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Covered hangars

The sprawling Brigade Parade Ground will see at least nine covered hangars coming up for the first time. Each of these hangars can accommodate at least one lakh people.

For BJP, the rally at Brigade assumes significance. Not just because it is a prestige issue or because the Prime Minister will address his first rally here since 2014 (when he was the PM aspirant), but primarily because this will be its first ever show of strength.

“Filling up the Brigade is no mean feat and if the BJP does that, then the message to the Trinamool is clear. Moreover, a rally at Brigade is also a message on the saffron party’s seriousness about making inroads in Bengal,” a political analyst said on conditions of anonymity.

Focus Bengal

For BJP, West Bengal is one of its focus seats. Party President Amit Shah has been gunning for 22-23 seats from the State for quite some time now.

Ground realities suggest that there is a BJP surge is some parts of the State. An aggressive Trinamool Congress and a shrinking space for opposition parties like the Left Front and Congress in Bengal has seen the rise of the BJP.

A good show in the Panchayat polls in 2018 also bolstered the BJP’s prospects in Bengal.

The surge has been most prominent in the north Bengal district, border areas (India-Bangladesh border constituencies) and in parts of Bengal tribal belts.

iIt is likely that tThe BJP is expected to provide a tough fight or even spring a surprise in 4-6 of the 13 North Bengal constituencies that go to polls between April 11 and April 29.

No wonder then that both Shah and Modi will focus on North Bengal districts as a part of their poll campaigns. In fact, Modi will hold a rally in Siliguri tomorrow morning before his rally at Brigade.

Published on April 02, 2019

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