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Is Trinamool’s Mega Rally At Brigade Ground A Counter To PM Modi’s Bengal Visit?

Amid major political backlash due to the Sandeshkhali controversy, ruling Trinamool Congress will be holding its third Mega Rally named as Janagarjan Sabha at the historic Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on March 10. Chief minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee will address the rally, which is seen as her official poll bugle for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Second in command of the party and Didi’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee will also address the gathering. Party insiders pointed out that both the leaders will mainly highlight the issues of pending central dues to the state government under various central-sponsored schemes with a focus on the 100-day job scheme under MGNREGA and the housing scheme under PMAY. It may be recalled that before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, TMC brought all the Opposition parties including Congress under the banner — United Front at a similar mega rally at Brigade Parade Ground to counter Narendra Modi-led BJP. However, the rally did not yield results, rather failed to stop the BJP’s clear sweep. This time TMC has made it clear that every district and block unit must ensure packed houses instead of displaying their personal stature. According to political analysts, Didi finds herself on a sticky ground over the ongoing Sandeshkhali controversy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll campaigns slated during the first week of March, where in all probability he will address a rally in North 24 Parganas district and also meet local women allegedly victims of sexual harassment and violence by TMC’s strongman Sheikh Shajahan.