Modi rally in Midnapore town: BJP, TMC race to one-up each otherhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/modi-rally-in-midnapore-town-bjp-tmc-race-to-one-up-each-other/

Modi rally in Midnapore town: BJP, TMC race to one-up each other

The TMC is planning a counter-rally on the same grounds, a few days after Modi’s speech, and has already put up large cutouts and banners of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee all across the town.

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A lane in Midnapore town, full of posters and flags on Sunday, ahead of the rally. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled public rally in Midnapore on Monday, the Trinamool Congress and BJP have been racing to one-up each other.

The TMC is planning a counter-rally on the same grounds, a few days after Modi’s speech, and has already put up large cutouts and banners of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee all across the town.

Meanwhile, the BJP is trying to draw huge crowds to its farmers’ rally.

Taking a jibe at the ruling party, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “Generally, the opposition parties organise counter-rallies. But in the case of West Bengal, it is just the opposite —the ruling party will be holding counter-rallies. It is good that the Trinamool is following us wherever we go.”

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During Modi’s rally, he is expected to detail how farmers have benefitted following the Union government’s decision to ensure 150 per cent MSP for farmers for their kharif crops.

“Replicas of farmers sowing a field with a plough have been installed at several places in the meeting venue (the Midnapore College ground). The prime minister will be greeted with a toka (farmer’s hat) and gamcha (coarse cotton towel typically used by farmers),” said Rahul Sinha, BJP national secretary.

The Trinamool focused its efforts on the area around the Midnapore College ground, packing the two sides of the approach road with pictures of Mamata Banerjee in addition to party flags flexes and festoons.

The ruling party has also tentatively set the date for its counter-rally as August 9. Local Trinamool leader Dinen Roy said, “Nothing had been finalised yet. But in the previous years, we have seen that our leaders have attended rallies which were organised on August 9. The chief minister is expected to announce the programme from the martyrs’ rally on July 21 in Kolkata and we will follow her instructions.”