Launching her 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee undertook a march highlighting her government’s schemes on International Women’s Day Saturday.
Banerjee walked from College Square to Metro channel, centre Kolkata here, accompanied by thousands of supporters from various districts.
Meanwhile, surprising her supporters, Banerjee, who was supposed to speak at Metro channel, walked out of rally.
Banerjee, who was seen shaking hands with bystanders, was visibly angry after she reached the Metro channel.
Irritated, Banerjee was moving towards the small platform erected at a corner of Chowrangi crossing, but suddenly turned and walked towards her car.
However, TMC leaders refused to accept that the chief minister had left the spot after being irritated.
Dola Sen, a senior TMC leader and Asansol candidate, said: “Nobody could have heard anything, even if Didi had spoken. Use of loud speakers was not allowed due to the ongoing ICSC examination. Didi was not angry and had walked to observe Women’s Day.”
Party sources, however, blamed poor crowd management for Didi’s sudden departure. “The meeting was mismanaged from the begining. There was no proper crowd management, which had irked Didi.”
The supporters carried posters highlighting the state government’s schemes, including the Chief Minister’s dream project Kanyashri launched last year to empower women through improved health services and education of girls.
Several leaders of the Trinamool Congress’s women wing, including Ministers of State Sashi Panja and Chandrima Bhattacherjee, also took part.
Chandrima Bhattacharya, senior TMC leader, said: “We have tried to highlight the several government schemes introduced for women like Kanyashri and 50 per cent reservation for women in panchayat elections.”
“Didi was not supposed to speak here due to restrictions on using loud speakers. We are a responsible party and did not want to break rules. However, we had errected the platform if she wanted to speak,” Bhattcharya said.