Camps for workers, eggs, dal & rice on menu: Trinamool plans big show for Martyr’s Day rally

Fresh off its landslide win in the recently concluded panchayat elections, the Trinamool Congress is set to organise its annual ‘Martyr’s Day’ programme on Friday in Kolkata.

Every year the ruling party organises a ‘Martyr’s Day’ programme on July 21 to commemorate the death of 13 persons who were killed during a public meeting in Kolkata on July 21, 1993 during the Left Front government’s regime. The meeting had been organised as part of a demonstration by West Bengal Youth Congress — which was then headed by Mamata Banerjee — to make voter IDs the only document required for voting. The West Bengal Youth Congress had claimed that the move would curb alleged rigging of polls.

The event will be held in front of Victoria House in Esplanade and will be attended by West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and other party leaders. In the past, the programme has served as a peek into the party’s roadmap for the next 12 months. This year too, the party is gearing up to organise a grand programme in the state capital on Friday.

The ruling party has set up camps with arrangements for food and accommodation for the cadre in areas like Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, Gitanjali Stadium, Uttirna in Alipore and the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

“These workers are our party’s wealth. Good arrangements must be made for them,” said a TMC leader while talking about the arrangements made by the party for the workers. On Thursday evening, TMC national general secretary and the party’s second in-command Abhishek Banerjee visited Geetanjali Stadium and Uttirno in Alipore to interact with the party workers.

At the camps, the menu for dinner and lunch is the same – dal, rice, sabzi and eggs.

“Every day, almost 60,000 eggs are boiled at the camp kitchen and around 6,000 kg of rice is consumed. All camps have thousands of volunteers who work in the kitchens in shifts. All camps have a medical unit as well,” said a TMC leader who was looking after the arrangements at the camp set up at the Geetanjali Stadium.

According to Trinamool leaders, supporters from districts in northern and western part of Bengal have already reached and have been staying at different camps in Kolkata. On Friday morning, supporters from Kolkata and adjacent districts will reach the venue through buses, trains and ferries.

In the past, the party has used the ‘Martyr’s Day’ programme to lay down its roadmap for the next year. Buoyant over its sweeping victory in the July 8 panchayat elections, the party’s main focus this year will be on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. “This year our main focus is on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the party’s stand on Congress and CPI (M) in West Bengal,” said a TMC leader.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also visited Esplanade to review arrangements for the programme on Thursday. Addressing the gathering, she targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the violence in Manipur and said the party had “bulldozed the federal structure of the country”.

“They’ve already bulldozed the federal structure… The attack on women, Dalits, minorities, and the people is absolutely condemnable and a matter of extreme shame. The central government should unite all communities and work for their progress. When the Prime Minister goes abroad, he keeps claiming that ours is the biggest democracy in the world. But in reality, he is only for one-party rule. Today, the government has become a merchant of violence and terror,” said Mamata.

Talking about the newly formed alliance of 26 Opposition parties, which includes the TMC, she said, “INDIA stands for unity; INDIA is for Manipur. Bengal, being Manipur’s neighbouring state, stands in solidarity with Manipur, and we even sent a delegation to the state. They’ve visited the camps and met people, and will report about the happenings there.”

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