Mamata Banerjee to set tone for 2024 polls as thousands gather for Martyrs Day rally in Kolkata  | The Financial Express

Mamata Banerjee to set tone for 2024 polls as thousands gather for Martyrs Day rally in Kolkata 

The annual event is being organised this year after a gap of two years due to the pandemic. The die-hard supporters can be seen holding party flags and cut-outs of Banerjee playing the traditional ‘dhaaks’ .

Mamata Banerjee to set tone for 2024 polls as thousands gather for Martyrs Day rally in Kolkata 
At least 4,500 police personnel have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order during the day.(File Photo)

A sea of people have converged at the annual Martyrs Day rally organised by Mamata Bannerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the Esplanade region of central Kolkata. The mega event is being as a show of strength by the fiesty leader as huge crowds comprising Trinamool supporters continued to pour from as early as on July 18.

The annual event is being organised this year after a gap of two years due to the pandemic. The die-hard supporters can be seen holding party flags and cut-outs of Banerjee playing the traditional ‘dhaaks’ (double sided drums) and even blowing conches. 

In order to avoid any mishap, heavy security has been deployed at the rally venue to manage the crowd. At least 4,500 police personnel have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order during the day. Several stadiums have been readied for accommodation; traffic has been diverted at almost 10 roads, and schools have been ordered shut in central Kolkata.

TMC’s all India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who is supervising the management of Thursday’s event, said, “Due to the last two years of pandemic, the TMC could not hold a physical event. This time, we expected a huge crowd. We are all waiting for Mamata Banerjee’s message. People are very excited for the Martyrs Day rally.”

Earlier, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that this Martyrs’ Day rally will be against the Centre’s “authoritarian rule”. At the rally she is scheduled to address shortly, the TMC supremo is likely to set the tone for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and also draw attention to the ongoing Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections in which BJP has nominated West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar as its candidate.

TMC observes Martyrs’ Day on July 21 every year to commemorate the killing of 13 people in police firing at a Youth Congress rally against the then Left Front government in 1993 when Banerjee was the state president of the Congress’ youth wing. Mamata has continued to observe the day even after forming the Trinamool Congress in 1998 and coming to power in West Bengal in 2011.

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First published on: 21-07-2022 at 12:54 IST