February 26, 2021 5:12:12 pm
Riding a scooter, Union minister Smriti Irani led a rally of the BJP on Friday as she campaigned for the upcoming West Bengal elections in the South 24 Parganas district.
Taking part in the BJP’s state-wide “Poriborton Yatra”, Irani along with BJP MP Roopa Ganguly and Agnimitra Paul began the campaign in Gangajoara near Garia on the party’s ‘rath’ — a bus decked up with slogans and photos of the leaders.
After covering a short distance, the minister got down from the ‘rath’ and took to a scooter, wearing a black helmet and a mask.
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2021
“When we began the ‘rath yatra’ today, the administration deliberately tried to delay it. We will ride two-wheelers, walk on foot because West Bengal is on the march towards change,” Irani said.
Enthused by the minister’s spontaneity, scores of BJP workers followed Irani on two-wheelers, chanting “Jai Shri Ram” and “Khela Hobey”, meaning ‘game on’ — a slogan first raised by the Trinamool Congress, which has now become the catchphrase of this election season.
Irani, the minister of textile, led the rally on the scooter for a few kilometres, often stopping as fervent supporters gathered, choking the road.
The minister interacted with the party’s young supporters in fluent Bengali, besides reaching out to the people.
“I want to thank everybody. We are out today to take your blessings. You have already given an opportunity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and during the elections in West Bengal, bless the BJP and the ‘Lotus’,” she said as a cordless mic was handed to her to speak.
The minister got on to the rath again a few kilometres later till Bhojerhat, around 20 km away from where she started the journey.
Irani’s bike rally comes a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to the streets, riding an e-scooter to protest against the steep price rise of petrol and diesel.
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