BJP, Trinamool Face-Off Over Stages For Mamata Banerjee, PM's Rallies

PM Modi is scheduled to hold a rally at Cooch Behar's Raash Mela Ground on Sunday.

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BJP, Trinamool Face-Off Over Stages For Mamata Banerjee, PM's Rallies

Mamata Banerjee will address a poll rally in Cooch Behar on Monday (File)


New Delhi: 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will never ever share a stage. But they will address their supporters in Cooch Behar at the same field 24 hours apart on stages 30 metres away from each other. PM Modi on Sunday. Mamata Banerjee on Monday.

Earlier today, a showdown seemed imminent as the BJP complained against the Trinamool which had started building a stage on the Raash Mela Ground -- the biggest rally venue in Kolkata.

The BJP's Kailash Vijayvargiya issued a deadline of 5 pm this evening and said the stage must be dismantled as it interfered with the party's arrangements for the PM's rally on Sunday.

Trinamool said it would do nothing of the kind as they would have no time to build a stage for Mamata Banerjee's Monday rally after the PM's meeting on Sunday ended.

Skirting round the showdown, the administration ordered that the Trinamool could continue to build the stage for Mamata Banerjee and barricade the VIP zone. But Trinamool was ordered to remove the bamboo barricades it had started to put up in the area for the people attending Monday's rally.

The BJP was told to build its stage for the PM's Sunday's rally.

The BJP had complained that the Trinamool barricades would interfere with the BJP's arrangements for people and the Prime Minister's security.

PM Modi and Ms Banerjee earlier this week took pot-shots at each other.

At Siliguri, the PM had called West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee "Speed Breaker Didi", blaming her for Bengal lagging behind in development because central schemes were running into the Mamata wall, as he put it.

Mamata Banerjee, who had tweaked her schedule to hold her rally in Cooch Behar parliamentary constituency on the same day as the PM's twin rallies, did hit back.

"Take care of Delhi First, then look at Bengal," she had said. "You will now see a voter strike which will be the true surgical strike. Is everyone the country's enemy and Modi its only friend? I don't need a patriot certificate from him," she added.



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