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  5. Rahul Gandhi to address three rallies in northeast; Modi to address two rallies in Bengal today

Rahul Gandhi to address three rallies in northeast; Modi to address two rallies in Bengal today

Modi's Kolkata rally will be the first covered rally in the history of Brigade Parade Ground, that has hosted several rallies over the decades. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's mega anti-BJP rally on January 19, that brought leaders of 23 opposition parties on one stage, was also held.  

India TV Politics Desk India TV Politics Desk
New Delhi Published on: April 03, 2019 6:59 IST
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In West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold two rallies on Wednesday. So far, he has, held three rallies in the state -- in north Bengal's Cooch Behar, in Dalit Matua community-dominated Thakurnagar in the North 24 Parganas and in West Bardhaman district's industrial city Durgapur.

On Wednesday, he will first address a rally in north Bengal's Siliguri, followed by a rally at Kolkata's iconic Brigade Parade Ground. 

Modi's Kolkata rally will be the first covered rally in the history of Brigade Parade Ground, that has hosted several rallies over the decades. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's mega anti-BJP rally on January 19, that brought leaders of 23 opposition parties on one stage, was also held.

Three massive stages have been set up along with mammoth metal hangers to provide shade on the ground. The party is expecting 8-10 lakh at the rally. 

"Nine hangers, each nearly 100x100 square feet, are being installed in three rows. We are arranging hangers to protect party activists and supporters, who would be waiting at the ground since morning to listen to Modi, from falling ill due to the heat. This is the first time a political party has planned a covered rally here," state BJP President Dilip Ghosh.

"Modiji will sit on the main dais in the centre along with the senior BJP leaders and MPs from South Bengal. The second stage would be occupied by the party district presidents and district observers, while state office-bearers will sit on the third stage," he said.

Enthusiasm is also high in Siliguri for Modi's rally, the venue of which had to be changed following denial of permission by the local administration.

The BJP, which won only two seats in Bengal in 2014, aims to substantially increase its seat count in the state under its "Look East" policy.

A good show in the region would offset any possible reverses in its strongholds like UP, where the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have formed an alliance.

The BJP leaders are also sceptical of the party repeating its magical performance of 2014 in the Hindi heartland.

North Bengal's Cooch Behar and Alipurduar go to vote in the first phase of polling on April 11. Siliguri, which falls under the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency, will vote in the second phase on April 18, along with neighbouring Jalpaiguri and Raigunj.

Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address three back to back election rallies in Nagaland and Assam on Wednesday. Gandhi will address the first rally at Dimapur in Nagaland on Wednesday morning.

Nagaland's lone Lok Sabha seat is going to polls on April 11 in the first phase.

While Congress has fielded veteran K.L. Chishi for the seat, the state's ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-led alliance has fielded Tokheho Yepthomi. 

Gandhi will address the second rally at Bokakhat in Assam's Golaghat district for sitting Kaliabor MP Gaurav Gogoi, followed by the third rally at the state's Lakhimpur district for party candidate Anil Borgohain from Lakhimpur constituency.

Both Kaliabor and Lakhimpur seats will also go to polls in the first phase on April 11.

In another development, Rahul Gandhi will launch the Maharashtra phase of his party's Lok Sabha poll campaign from Vidarbha during a two-day visit beginning April 4, party sources said.

Gandhi is scheduled to hold public rallies in Nagpur, Chandrapur and Wardha, which are among the seven Lok Sabha constituencies that will vote on April 11 in the first round, the sources said.

In Pune, which will vote on April 23 in the third phase, he is set to hold an interactive session with students, they said. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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