Every year, the party holds the Martyrs’ Day rally on July 21 in Kolkata to pay homage to 13 Youth Congress workers, who were allegedly killed in police firing in 1993, when the Left Front government was in power.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be launching Trinamool Congress’ full frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP during its annual Martyrs’ Day (Shahid diwas) rally in Kolkata on July 21. The rally, which will take place within days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state, is likely to have a few political surprises. Every year, the party holds the Martyrs’ Day rally on July 21 in Kolkata to pay homage to 13 Youth Congress workers, who were allegedly killed in police firing in 1993, when the Left Front government was in power.
This year’s rally is taking place at a time when Banerjee is trying to stitch together an alliance of anti-BJP parties to take on PM Modi in 2019. At last year’s July 21 rally, Banerjee had launched the “free India of the BJP” campaign during her 43-minute-long speech.
Congress turncoats to join TMC
There have been reports that Congress leaders in the state were divided into factions over its future course of action regarding Lok Sabha 2018. One such rebel Congress MLA was Maniul Haque from Farraka who had earlier said that he was planning to join the TMC as it has better prospects in the election. “I have decided to join the TMC as it is the only party that can fight against the BJP in the state and at the national level. The Congress alone can’t put up a fight against the BJP,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. Four other Congress MLAs, who are currently holding talks with the TMC, are reportedly to follow suit on July 21.
Chandan Mitra to be present at July 21 rally?
Noted journalist Chandan Mitra is likely to leave the BJP and is believed to mark his presence at the July 21 rally in Kolkata, reports said. While Mitra has maintained stoic silence on the issue, the rally may just have the answer. Mitra was a nominated member of the Upper House from 2003 to 2009. In 2010, he was elected to Rajya Sabha on a BJP ticket. He was a Rajya Sabha MP till 2016. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Mitra, who is considered to be close to LK Advani, contested from West Bengal’s Hooghly constutuency.
TMC’s poll bugle
MC general secretary Subrata Bakshi has asserted that CM Banerjee will sound the poll bugle from the rally which will be held in Esplanade area in the city of joy. “Our target is 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Our party supremo will sound the poll bugle from July 21 rally. She will give a clarion call to put an end to divisive politics and fight the communal forces. She will prepare the political strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” Bakshi was quoted as saying by IE.
Intensive Social Media campaign
This year’s Martyrs’ rally will be the 25th anniversary of the event. With an aim to turn the rally into a mega political event, TMC has launched campaigns across the state to galvanise support. TMC has created a page on Facebook titled “21 July” to campaign for the event. The party is expecting a record turnout and has launched campaigns across the state. “Presence on social media is important. Besides, this time our party chief Mamata Banerjee will sound the Lok Sabha poll bugle during the July 21 rally. It is therefore important to make this event a grand success. Every year we witness a record turnout and this time, too, it will not be an exception,” a TMC leader was quoted as saying by IE.
Counter to PM Modi’s Midnapore rally
TMC has already announced that it will hold a rally at the same venue in Midnapore as that of the prime minister on July 16 to counter his claims. However, this rally will be held after the July 21 event. It is likely that CM Banerjee will refer to PM Modi’s rally in order to take him on.