Kolkata: Wise after the canopy collapse at Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s public meeting at Midnapore College ground on July 16 when 90 persons were injured, BJP leaders brought a decorator from Jharkhand to build the stage for party president Amit Shah’s rally in Kolkata on Saturday.
According to HT, General secretary of BJP’s Bengal unit, Sayantan Basu said on Thursday that they brought a trusted decorator from Ranchi fearing local decorators may be intimidated by the ruling party and may be amenable to sabotage attempts.
“We do not want to take any risk this time. The Ranchi-based decorator has a long experience in organising structures for mega rallies and functions including government programmes,” said Basu. Ranchi is more than 425 km away from Kolkata.
“As much as 70% of the materials such as iron pillars, rods and bolts for the scaffolding and VIP chairs have been brought from Ranchi.The rest, mostly decorative accessories have been sourced from a local decorator,” said Umesh Bahl, who is in charge of construction of the stage and represents Ranchi-based Ajmani Infrastructure and Projects.
The meeting on Mayo Road will be one in a series of rallies planned by the BJP party chief in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in Bengal, where he has set a target of winning at least 22 of the 42 constituencies the state offers.
“We expect a lot of people since Amitji will be addressing,” said BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Trinamool Congress legislator, Arjun Singh, who is in charge of the party in Jharkhand, said baseless allegations and insinuations are the only weapons of the BJP. “First they brought people from Bihar and Jharkhand to fill up their rallies in Bengal, and now they are bringing in decorators. There is no need to attach any importance to what they say,” Singh said.
Basu mentioned special precautionary measures for Saturday’s meeting.“This time there will be no separate canopy for the audience. There will 550 trained volunteers, whose only task will be controlling the crowd. We are holding meetings with Kolkata Police officers, but we cannot depend only on them,” he said.
BJP will also deploy drones to monitor the crowd.
On the other hand, in a rerun of what they did in Birbhum before BJP president Amit Shah’s rally on June 28 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting in Midnapore on July 16, Trinamool Congress leaders have swamped the venue of Shah’s meeting with party flags and posters of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
“Symbol of development Mamata Banerjee, accept our pranam,” say the banners that feature a half bust photo of the Trinamool chief.
The presence of numerous banners of Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool flags all over Midnapore town, where the Prime Minister addressed a rally last month, caused BJP Bengal leaders some embarrassment. But Modi himself took a jibe and congratulated “Didi” for welcoming him.