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Jaya for company, Mamata braves the heat and ups ante against BJP


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KOLKATA:  Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee held her second roadshow on wheelchair in Kolkata on Thursday from Beliaghata to Bowbazar, a 4.5km stretch, under scorching heat. She was accompanied by Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachhan.

The West Bengal CM’s first roadshow on wheelchair, after she was injured in Nandigram while greeting the crowd, was held on Mar 14. With hundreds of supporters following her, the roadshow on Thursday travelled along arterial roads of east and central Kolkata. People standing on the road and residents from their balconies responded to Mamata, who kept waving her hands.

“May the Bengali New Year of 1428 be spent with safety, joy and peace. My good wishes to you all. We have to be in it together to keep West Bengal free of BJP,” Mamata said. A former resident of the state, Bachchan has been campaigining for TMC in West Bengal for a while now. “I am accompanying her (Mamata) because of the slew of development works that were carried out during the TMC’s regime in Bengal. The TMC will win this election and BJP will be whitewashed,’’ she said.

Thousands of party supporters took part in the rally and shouted slogans of “Didi tumi egiye cholo amra tomar sange achhi” (Didi, you go ahead, we are with you), “Dangabaz BJP dur hato” (Down with rioter sBJP) and “Khela hobe (The game is on).”

Bachchan was vocal and said that Mamata has set an example by campaigning with an injured leg. “Khela hobe. Didi is playing the game even with her injured leg,” said the actress, who shares a good rapport with the TMC supremo and had earlier attended the inauguration programme of the Kolkata International Film Festival. “We do not want change in Bengal.

Please re-elect Didi and help her carry on the development work to take the state to new heights,” added Bachchan. She also greeted the public on the Bengali New Year day. Assembly polls have been completed in 135 of the 294 constituencies in the state so far. The remaining 159 seats are set go to the polls between April 17 and 29. Elections in the state are being held in eight phases.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)