Union minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo is leading the offensive against Mamata Banerjee's mega opposition rally in Kolkata today. In a series of tweets the minister has described the event as a "rally of unity of corrupt leaders and show of hypocrisy". At least 25 opposition leaders are expected to share the stage at the 'United India Rally' aimed at galvanizing the opposition parties against the Narendra Modi and Amit Shah-led BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.
"Instead of chanting #BrigadeChalo they all should chant 'Let's make India better'. Then, some fruitful decisions can be made for the country... By putting traffic on stand still & harassing the general public, TMC wants to stand up for the state's well fare? How ironical! I urge all to share their today's traffic woes. #NaMoAgain" tweeted Babul Supriyo, who represents Asansol in Lok Sabha.
A rally of unity of corrupt leaders. Kolkata will witness a show of hypocrisy today. It is an unholy alliance of political parties for personal survival. #NaMoAgain#AbkiBaarPhirModiSarkar@narendramodi@AmitShah@BJP4India@BJP4Bengal@KailashOnline— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) January 19, 2019
Instead of chanting #BrigadeChalo they all should chant ‘Let's make India better'. Then, some fruitful decisions can be made for the county and for the people! #NaMoAgain#AbkiBaarPhirModiSarkar@narendramodi@AmitShah@BJP4India@BJP4Bengal@KailashOnline— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) January 19, 2019
TMC has a large fund base for the rally but not for the state? Kolkata will witness a show of hypocrisy today.#NaMoAgain#AbkiBaarPhirModiSarkar@narendramodi@AmitShah@BJP4India@BJP4Bengal@KailashOnline— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) January 19, 2019
The union minister and the ruling Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal have been engaged in a verbal battle since the row over the BJP's planned 'rath yatra' in the state. The Supreme Court, yesterday, ruled that the BJP cannot hold its yatra for now, stating that the concerns of the state government can't be ignored as "unfounded". Babul Supriyo had earlier accused the Bengal Chief Minister of indulging in appeasement politics, while alleging that she deliberately added the word 'rath' to the BJP's planned yatra in the state to make it sound communal.
More than 20 national leaders, including former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, his son and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Hemant Soren and former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Gegong Apang, are in Kolkata to take part in the rally. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to participate.
Although Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati is not attending the rally, senior party leader Satish Chandra Mishra will be present on her behalf. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, too, has extended his support to the rally. Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge and senior party leader, Abhishek Manu Singhvi are representing the Congress at the rally.
The Trinamool Congress has claimed that around 40 lakh people would gather at the Brigade Parade Ground and this could be the biggest political rally of the century. The party has gone all out to make it a success. Besides the huge stages, 20 watchtowers have been erected and 1,000 microphones and 30 LED screens put up so that the spectators can see the leaders and hear them clearly. As many as 10,000 security personnel have been deployed in and around the venue to ensure foolproof security, said the Kolkata police.
The BJP has downplayed the mega rally. "Leaders who are retired, tired or rejected in their own states are coming to attend Saturday's event," said Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh. The BJP also plans to hold a rally headlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Brigade Parade Ground on February 8.