Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee at a rally at Hooghly's Dunlop Ground on Wednesday
After Hooghly’s Dunlop Ground Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally for BJP, it was another rally held by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the same place on Wednesday.
BJP’s saffron flags were replaced with Trinamool’s tricolor flags and the ground buzzed with catchy slogans and songs with beats of traditional musical instruments like maadol, khonjoni, dhaak and dhol.
45 years old Jadabi Ghosh, an anganwadi worker, referring to Mamata Banerjee said, "Ami Didi ke dekhbo bole, aar onar kotha shunbo bole eshechhi (I have come here to see and listen to Didi)."
A resident of Hooghly’s Bora area, Ghosh said, "she and her family members were beneficiaries of the state government’s schemes such as widow and old-age pensions."
She also added, “Didi sobar jonno kaaj kore, Hindu, Musalman dekhe na (Didi works for everyone, doesn’t discriminate between Hindus and Muslims), “Ebar Didir Hattrick”– a catchy track – played in the background."
59 years old Anjan Gupta of Hooghly’s Jirat had come to see Didi. “Earlier, I was a Congress supporter. Later, I switched to TMC when Didi formed the party and have been rooting for her since then.”
Bag added, "his brother was a beneficiary of Krishak Bandhu, a farmers’ scheme launched by the TMC government. “I have also applied for the scheme after seeing my brother getting Rs 1,000."
17 years old Anirban Bhattacharya, a student of Class 12 student said, “I am not into politics much. I have come here just to see our chief minister.”
Anirban flashed his cellphone, which he said, " he had bought from Rs 10,000 that he had received from the state government to buy a smartphone for online classes in the wake of the Covid pandemic."
The crowd chanted several catchy slogans such as “Jene Gechhe Jonota, Abar Aschhe Mamata (People know that Mamata will win again)” and “Awaaz Uthechhe Bonge, Aamra Didir Songe (a chorus in Bengal, we are with Didi)”.
26 years old Arman Ansari played “dhol”, his friends danced. Rajkumar Das and Anil Das, both traditional “dhaakis”, were hired by the party to play dhaaks at the rally.
Muni Soren, a folk dancer from Hooghly’s Mogra, who was leading one of the groups, said, “We are putting our best foot forward in support of Didi."
28 years old Ruma Adhikari said, “Amra aabar Didi ke chai (We again want Didi to come to power).” The Mogra resident echoed Mamata: “The prices of gas cylinders and petrol are reaching sky-high. BJP is a party for the rich, not for the poor like us.”
42 years old, Ajay Das, a resident of Rishra, said, “Where will you get rice and egg curry for Rs 5?"
Mohd Sarfaraz Hussain, who gives tuition classes in Bandel, said Mamata Banerjee has “worked for the masses”. “My students have benefited from Kanyashree and Sabooj Sathi schemes of the Mamata government through which they got money and bicycles…The BJP tries to woo voters on communal lines. But it cannot boost development."
32 years old, Sunita Khuswaha, whose house is just 200 meters away from the venue said, “We have never seen such a big rally before. Now, I have seen both the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister in one week. It’s overwhelming to see such elaborate arrangements with so much police security,”