KOLKATA: For the first time in the history of Brigade Parade Ground, Kolkata’s prime seat of protest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a covered rally on April 3.
The venue, with a capacity to accommodate more than 15 lakh people, hosted several important political events, including the Bangladesh liberation rally held by Indira Gandhi and Mujibur Rahman in 1972, but it never offered a shed over the heads of the attendees.
The decision of organising the covered rally was taken for the sake of the supporters who would be waiting for hours for the Prime Minister’s speech, a BJP leader in Kolkata said.
Mega hangers covering around 25 lakh square feet are being mooted to protect attendees from the scorching April heat, he said. Several decorators have been assigned to lay the groundwork for the spectacle that the city’s biggest rally venue never witnessed before.
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said lakhs of supporters would start hitting the venue from morning and the Prime Minister would arrive around 3 pm.
"Since, we’re into summer, the health of our supporters is our top priority,” Ghosh said.
He also said this Brigade meeting would be an historic event this time.
According to BJP sources, each of the nine hangers will cover around a lakh square feet.
Modi had addressed a rally on the Brigade grounds as a PM aspirant in 2014. The BJP leadership is careful to ensure there is no repeat of the mishap in Midnapore during the Prime Minister’s visit last year.
One of the hangers, weakened by the soft soil due to a downpour, caved in and around 90 persons were injured.
VHP no to arms on Ram Navami
After Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to shun open display of weapons during Ram Navami celebrations across West Bengal on April, 14 in view of the Lok Sabha elections. It has also decided not to involve BJP candidates in its processions.
At least three people were killed and scores injured in Ram Navami riots across south Bengal last year. Several Sangh Parivar activists were booked under Arms Act for open display of weapons during the processions.
“In view of the upcoming elections, we have decided not to use weapons during the processions. Also, we would request the 42 BJP candidates not to take part in the processions,” VHP eastern regional organisational general secretary Sachindranath Sinha said.
However, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that Sangh cadres will display weapons at the processions and the party’s candidates can take part in the processions.