Hoardings and cutouts of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, as well as party flags, were seen on and around Mayo Road, the venue for BJP national president Amit Shah’s public meeting in Kolkata.
Shah is scheduled to address a public meeting on August 11, in a rally organised by the BJP Yuva Morcha.
On Thursday, as preparations of putting up the stage and barricades began on Mayo road, only two BJP hoardings were seen amidst the bamboos and metal frames brought in for the stage.
Meanwhile, TMC cadres brought in hoardings and propped them up atop lamp posts, trees and even the bamboo barricade put up for the BJP event. In the afternoon, more flags and hoardings of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were brought in and placed at various spots on Mayo Road. Party flags were put up along the approach road to the venue.
Mamata’s picture with a raised fist and a microphone in the other hand has been used with ‘Unnoyoner Protik loho pronam’ (symbol of development we salute you) written on the hoardings.
“What is there to say if they are extending their courteousness at our leader’s visit. They seem to welcome our national leaders including the prime minister and our national president with their banners and hoardings. This is their culture and we do not feel disturbed,” said state BJP secretary Sayantan Basu.
TMC leaders, however, remained tight-lipped on the issue.
“Their national leaders, even prime minister may visit Bengal thousands of time, but the people of Bengal are with Mamata Banerjee…Our flags and the hoardings of our party chief Mamata Banerjee will remind them that Bengal belongs to Trinamool Congress not to any communal force,” said a senior Trinamool Congress leader on the condition of anonymity.
Earlier, on May 25, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Santiniketan to attend the convocation at Visva Bharati University, huge gates and cutouts praising Mamata were put up around the university.
The practice was repeated when Shah visited the state on June 28 and during Modi’s Midnapore rally on July 16.