Truth v/s hype: Less than 10L attended Mamata Banerjee's mega-rally
While the opposition leaders want people to believe, the mega rally in Kolkata was a success and has laid roots for the end of BJP's rule, data shows otherwise. The rally organized by TMC in Brigade Ground was attended by around 10 lakh people, claims a DNA report. The organizers expected nearly 50 lakh people to show up. Notably, many left the event mid-way.
To recall, several politicians, from across the spectrum, gathered at Kolkata yesterday. From Omar Abdullah to MK Stalin, Akhilesh Yadav to HD Kumaraswamy, Arvind Kejriwal to Chandrababu Naidu, everyone got together to slam Prime Minister Narendra Modi's governance. The presence of former BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie boosted the leaders' morale. Sitting BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha also attacked BJP from the stage.
It wasn't a coincidence that TMC chose Brigade Ground as the venue. The ground has seen many historical events and the party clearly wanted to leave an impression. But it failed. An officer told DNA, "The gathering was under 10 lakh and nowhere near 50 lakh mark which was projected. The capacity of Brigade Parade Ground is 3.5 lakh and it was surely full."
As the crowd fizzled out, Mamata Didi, who turned into an anchor for the event asked people to stay. She declared no one should leave before 4 PM. "You people sit down and listen to all the leaders. Let them know how disciplined you are," she said. But her stern warning wasn't enough to keep people interested, especially when leaders started talking in English.
Kumaraswamy spoke in English prompting many to leave. Banerjee told people she would speak after 6-7 leaders. Ramesh Kundu, who came from South 24 Parganas district, explained language was a problem. "Some are speaking in Tamil which is being translated in a strange way and there are some leaders who are speaking in Hindi but owing to the age they are incomprehensible," Kundu said.
Banerjee, who spoke at the last, didn't have many spectators. By the time she concluded her speech, half of the ground was empty. As expected, BJP took potshots at the rally with PM Modi saying those who were stopped from looting India have come together in the mahagathbandhan. Further, to counter the mega event, BJP will now hold rallies in all 42 Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal.