KOLKATA: The mega Trinamool Congress-led rally is all set to kick off from Kolkata's historic Brigade Parade Ground on Saturday. The battle cry, decreed by party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is likely to set the tone for upcoming Lok Sabha election 2019.
Leaders of all the opposition parties except the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the CPI(M)-led Left Front will be taking part in the rally.
“Only few hours to go for the historic 'United India Rally' at Brigade Parade Grounds. I welcome all national leaders, supporters and lakhs of people to participate in today's rally to pledge to build a stronger, progressive and united India #UnitedIndiaAtBrigade,” tweeted Mamata.
Only few hours to go for the historic 'United India Rally' at Brigade Parade Grounds. I welcome all national leaders, supporters and lakhs of people to participate in today's rally to pledge to build a stronger, progressive and united India #UnitedIndiaAtBrigade
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 19, 2019
The day-long rally, which begins at noon, will be conducted on five stages or elevated platform.
The first and the main stage, constructed in front of the fountain opposite Victoria Memorial Hall, will accommodate senior Opposition leaders including Mamata. The second stage will host lawmakers and state government ministers, while the third is for the district presidents and functionaries. The fourth and fifth platforms are for cultural programmes and functions.
Mamata Banerjee will address the rally at 1 pm.
Traffic movement has been suspended or curtailed on roads near the ground, said authorities. Dedicated corridors have been assigned for VVIPs.
According to TMC, nearly 40 lakh people will attend the rally. However, the Brigade Parade Grounds can accommodate close to 20 lakh persons.
Most Opposition leaders invited by Mamata Banerjee have already arrived in the city. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Gegong Apang, Farooq Abdulaah, Hardik Patel, HD Devegowda, Kumaraswamy, Chandrababu Naidu, MK Stalin, Hardik Patel and several others. Arvind Kejriwal is expected to arrive soon.
Mamata will host a tea party for her guests at 4 pm after the rally gets over.