Youth Congress workers waved black flags at Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah as he exited the NSC Bose International airport in Kolkata to attend a rally on Saturday. Shah is set to address the Yuva Swabhiman Samavesh rally to boost the party’s presence in the state ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Youth Congress workers also shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, and tried to block his convoy with their motorcycles, PTI reported quoting the police.
Ahead of his visit to Kolkata, posters asking BJP to “leave Bengal” and ‘Anti-Bengal BJP go back’ have come up around Mayo Road, the venue of the rally. Around 2 lakh people are expected to attend the rally which is organised by the by the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.
The state unit of the party has alleged that the placards were put up by the cadres of ruling Trinamool Congress which has denied the allegations.
“This shows that the TMC is afraid of our rally,” Hindustan Times quoted West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh as saying. “The days of TMC are numbered in Bengal. The people of the state are waiting for good governance of the BJP.”
An unidentified BJP leader said Bengal was not TMC’s personal property”. “The people of the state will decide in the coming days who will stay and who will leave,” he added.
TMC Secretary-General and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee refuted the allegations and said his party had nothing to do with the “anti-BJP posters”.
Hoardings and cutouts of Trinamool chief and Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee were also seen around the venue. The party’s flags were put up along the road leading to the venue, reported The Indian Express.
Hoardings with Banerjee’s photo with “unnoyoner protik loho pronam” (symbol of development, we salute you) written on it were also seen.
State BJP secretary Sayantan Basu said it seemed the Trinamool was welcoming BJP national leaders with their banners and hoardings. “This is their culture and we do not feel disturbed,” Basu said.
“Our flags and the hoardings of our party chief Mamata Banerjee will remind them that Bengal belongs to Trinamool Congress not to any communal force,” a senior TMC leader said.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Visva Bharati University to attend the convocation in May, cutouts praising Banerjee were put up around the university.