Kolkata braces for Trinamool’s mega rally on July 21

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Kolkata, July 20 (IANS) With lakhs of people expected to converge for the Trinamool Congress mega rally on Thursday, the metropolis is bracing up for the event. This will be ruling party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s first major public event after retaining power in West Bengal for the second successive term.

Observed as Martyrs’ Day in remembrance of the 13 youth killed in police firing on July 21, 1993, the event is likely to be used by Banerjee as a public thanksgiving for the thumping majority her party received in the assembly polls.

Banerjee, who has been cracking the whip against party infighting as well as the rise of illegal syndicates, is also expected to give a stern message to her partymen.

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Following the Chief Minister’s instructions, the state administration has cracked down on criminals in the past few days and taken into custody over 7,000 people from across the state.

Among those arrested are two TMC men, including Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation’s influential member Anindya Chatterjee, accused of extortion.

Trinamool General Secretary Mukul Roy said the event will see Banerjee simultaneously play the twin role of a chief minister and party chief.

“On one hand, the message would be for the state’s people from the government while on the other hand she (Mamata) will address the party workers,” said Roy.

The mega rally is all set to choke the city even as police have made elaborate arrangements, including installation of Closed-Circuit Televisions at strategic locations and deployment of several thousand police personnel across the city.

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While nearly 3,000 personnel will be deployed around the grand stage erected in front of the Victoria House at Esplanade, several Radio Flying Squads and Heavy Radio Flying Squads and at least a dozen ambulances will be on standby, said a police officer.

Bomb disposal and dog squads will also be deployed.

As is usual in Banerjee’s programmes now, a bevy of Bengali filmstars, including the likes of reigning superstar and party MP Dev, will add glamour to the event.

With the event likely to witness a stream of processions that will throw traffic out of gear, several schools have announced a holiday while daily commuters may face a harrowing time since most of the buses are expected to ferry Trinamool supporters to the venue and back.

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