Even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground on March 7 that 90 lakh gas cylinders were distributed in West Bengal the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee led a big Padyatra (Foot March) in Siliguri protesting against the huge jump in petrol, diesel and gas prices.
Those who took part in the Padyatra, which included a large number of women, carried empty LPG cylinders and their dummies. They tried to send the message as to how the rising price of fuel has made it very difficult for the common masses to afford gas cylinders. Not only that Mamata asked as to how the prices of all the essential items are increasing in India. She accused Modi of selling empty dreams to the people of the country.
Mamata will also undertake another Padyatra in South Bengal to expose the failure of the Narendra Modi government on this count.
On the other hand, Modi in his 75 minutes speech in Kolkata highlighted the achievements of his government. He claimed that the Trinamool Congress would be wiped out in the coming Assembly election. He also said that he failed to understand as to why ‘Didi’ was so angry with him.
Just before the start of the rally noted film-star Mithun Chakraborty joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He also addressed the rally. But the former Indian cricket captain and the President of BCCI Sourav Ganguly was not visible on the dais.
By choosing the same day to highlight the rising prices of fuel Mamata Banerjee had tried to take the wind out of the sails from Narendra Modi’s otherwise big rally. The issue of hike in fuel prices has to some extent dampened the spirit of even the ardent BJP supporters.