BJP Cancels Narendra Modi's Kolkata Event Planned at Site of Opposition Rally

The prime minister was to speak at the Brigade Parade Grounds on February 8.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata next month has been cancelled, the Bharatiya Janata Party said on Monday, adding that the prime minister will initially attend three rallies in West Bengal starting next week.

The historic ground, also known as the Maidan, was the venue for the mega opposition rally organised by West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee last Saturday.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address three rallies in West Bengal. On January 28 (Monday), he will address a rally at Thakurnagar in Bongaon. On February 2, he will address a rally at Siliguri in north Bengal,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

Modi’s scheduled rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds on February 8 has been cancelled and, instead, he will be addressing a rally at Asansol – represented by party MP Babul Supriyo – on the same day, Ghosh said. “So far, this is the schedule.”

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Asked why the BJP was not organising the Kolkata rally as scheduled, Ghosh said as the party would be holding three rallies in various parts of the state, that was why they had decided to call off the rally. “We will organise a rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds later,” he added.

According to the Telegraph, the massive turnout at the opposition rally may have made the BJP re-think its plans. “Our central leaders are unsure whether a large enough crowd could be ensured to fill the Brigade Parade Grounds at such short notice…. We are postponing our February 8 meeting there,” the newspaper quoted Ghosh as saying.

The state BJP will kick-start its Lok Sabha polls campaign in the state from Tuesday, with a rally of party president Amit Shah in Malda district. Shah will be addressing two other rallies at Jhargram and Suri in Birbhum district on Wednesday.

The saffron party has set a target to win 22 out of the total 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state for the upcoming general election.

(With PTI inputs)