The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday announced that it has cancelled a proposed rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground on February 8, The Indian Express reported. Modi will instead address a public meeting in Asansol the same day, said state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh.
“The central leadership said there is no need to hold a rally at Brigade [Parade Ground] as of now,” Ghosh said. “They have asked us to hold public meetings in districts because a Brigade rally cannot be organised under the present circumstances, and at such short notice.”
The parade ground was the venue for the massive Opposition rally led by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday. Around 25 leaders of Opposition parties had attended the rally which was seen as an effort to unite against the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Ghosh said Modi will address three rallies in West Bengal – a public meeting in Siliguri on January 28, another in Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district on January 31 and a rally in Asansol on February 8, PTI reported. Ghosh said the party will organise a rally at Brigade Parade Ground later.
The BJP will begin its Lok Sabha campaign in the state on Tuesday with party president Amit Shah addressing a rally in Malda district. Shah will address two other rallies at Jhargram and Suri in Birbhum district on Wednesday.
Ghosh said the state government has granted permission for Shah’s chopper to land at a helipad in Malda district. The BJP had earlier alleged that the government had refused permission to use the airstrip, but West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee had refuted the claim.