Under pressure due to setbacks in Darjeeling hills and Basirhat, the ruling TMC is determined to overcome these hurdles with its July 21 ‘Martyr’s Day’ rally, and preparations are in full swing to make it a grand success. Since its formation in 1998, Trinamool Congress has been commemorating the killing of 13 Youth Congress workers due to police firing at Kolkata in 1993. Party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to address this year’s rally, which will be in front of Victoria House in Esplanade.
After winning the Assembly election for the second time in a row last year, Mamata had used the occasion to celebrate her party’s victory. However, events over the last year has dented the image of the party. In addition, the frequent questioning of senior TMC leaders by CBI and ED, in connection with the Narada sting case and the Saradha chit fund scam, has raised questions about the party.
According to senior party leaders, Mamata is likely to send a message of peace and harmony during the July 21 rally, and will speak on economic issues such as demonetisation and GST. “She has been cornered with a lot of issues now. Her aim would be to come out of this situation and send a strong message to the Opposition…. We will expect some fireworks from her,” said a senior party leader.
Large cut-outs of Mamata have already been installed at major roads and crossings, while banners and posters are being placed to mobilise support for the rally. Leaders of Trinamool Youth Congress, which has been tasked to organise the event, have been touring the state. Trinamool Youth Congress president and party MP, Abhishek Banerjee, has been addressing rallies in every district. All party units and district presidents have been asked to reach out to block-level leaders and workers.