KOLKATA: The bitter rivalry between West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress and formidable challengers BJP will now spill over to the streets of Kolkata on Friday -- the International Women's Day -- when stalwarts of the two parties take part in mega rallies around the same time.
As in previous years, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee would spearhead her party's rally from Shraddhananda Park in north Kolkata to city hub Dharamtala to celebrate the day.
Party's women's leaders would participate in the procession, with heavyweight ministers Chandrima Bhattacharya and Shashi Panja walking beside their beloved didi (elder sister -- as Banerjee is affectionately called).
Almost simultaneously, the state BJP would take out a rally from its headquarters at Muralidhar Sen Lane to Shyambazar five-point crossing, for restoration of democracy in Bengal.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, and convener of the party's state election management committee Mukul Roy would be the vanguard of the rally where a central minister is expected to participate.
The rallyists would demand a free and fair Lok Sabha election in a congenial atmosphere sans fear. State BJP Mahila Morcha activists would take part in the rally in a bigway.
"The BJP activists and supporters will hit the streets in huge numbers on that day. Those who were attacked on March 3, during the bike rallies to observe Vijay Sankalpa Divas, will also be there," said Ghosh.
The BJP has claimed that 60-70 of its activists sustained various degree of injuries in attacks by the anti-socials sheltered by the Trinamool Congress and the police when the workers were bringing out "peaceful" bike rallies as part of the party's campaign programme ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.