Mamata leads procession to match Oppn strength
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 03, 2012, 21:25
Kolkata: In a show of strength, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday led a massive procession of Trinamool Congress supporters in an apparent answer to a similar show by her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the city four days ago.

Though Trinamool Congress said the procession was undertaken to protest against a "slander campaign and conspiracy by CPI(M) in collusion with some TV channels" to undermine the state government, it was actually a show of strength.

The chief minister, who joined the procession shortly after her return from north Bengal, waved to the surging crowd of party supporters who carried posters that warned CPI(M) against launching 'canards' against the government.

Bhattacharjee had during his February 29 procession traversed a five-km distance in the city's southern outskirts in an open jeep and Mamata also did the likewise today boarding a jeep accompanied by a multitude of cacophonous party supporters.

She was accompanied by party leaders and ministers like Commerce Minister Partha Chatterjee, Union minister Mukul Roy, city Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Subrata Bakshi, MP.

Blurring the divide between a chief minister and an opposition leader, Banerjee led the Trinamool Congress procession which looked like a celebration of election victory.

The procession was also an attempt to shore up the government and the party's image in the wake of a series of rape incidents and political violence rocking the state.

The state government's image had taken a further hit when state Governor M K Narayanan said "Bengal used to be one of the safest places in the country."

Not to be outdone, CPI(M) also brought out a big procession at Baguihati in North 24-Parganas district to protest against "police harassment" of party workers, particularly chairman of CPI(M)-controlled Rajarhat municipality Tapas Chatterjee during February 28 general strike.

Both the processions caused massive traffic snarls as daily commuters went through a harrowing time getting back home from work.


First Published: Saturday, March 03, 2012, 21:25

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