Kolkata: It was a sight that used to prevail on the streets of Kolkata quite often a decade ago. The streets smeared in red, communist flags is a sight long forgotten.
But Kolkata was again seen draped in red cloth on a sunny Sunday afternoon when the Left-Congress combine’s mega rally turned out to be a resounding success at the Brigade Parade Ground. The cars that were forced out of their usual parking lots were seen suffocating in chock-a-block situations in several parts of the city.
The sea of youth that was witnessed in the rally was something that the opposition can pin hopes on. The ruling Trinamool Congress and BJP have a lot to worry about with this change of scene in a decade’s time. “It is heartening to see so many youths out on the streets to throw out Mamata Banerjee government here and the Narendra Modi government at the Centre,” a CPM leader present in the rally told The Lateralz on Sunday.
The big guns like Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress), CPM heavyweights Biman Bose, Mohammad Salim, JNUSU chief Aishee Ghosh and many others were heard delivering fiery speeches.
However, the twist came when Indian Secular Front (ISF) leader Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui made his appearance. This made the rally doubly successful and significant. The advent of Siddiqui actually opened the floodgates for youth minority leaders to make a beeline at the Brigade Parade Ground on Sunday.
A slight confusion occurred when a loud cheer from the crowd for Siddiqui halted Chowdhury’s speech in the middle. “There was a huge cheer from the front row. So I stopped my speech for a moment for them to calm down,” Chowdhury said after the rally.
West Bengal will go on Assembly polls in a month’s time. The state will see an eight-phase election starting March-end.