Kolkata, April 27: In what made the anti-Trinamool Congress (TMC) force's biggest gesture of solidarity in this year's West Bengal Assembly election, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi shared the stage with former chief minister of the state, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at a rally in Park Circus Maidan area of the city.
The rally was held to jointly campaign for the alliance candidates contesting from South Kolkata. Both leaders were felicitated on the stage by other leaders, including Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury, one of the chief architects of this year's tie-up.
Speaking at the rally, his only one besides a road show which he joined on April 19, Bhattacharjee said it was an unprecedented development and was necessitated by the urgency to defeat the ruling TMC.
He said the Left-Congress alliance is coming to power this time and they know how to run a government. Bhattacharjee is not contesting this year's election and was also reluctant to campaign but agreed after the Left members made repeated attempts to convince him.
Bhattacharjee was the chief minister between 2000 and 2011, when the 34-year-old Left rule was toppled by the Mamata Banerjee wave. Bhattacharjee himself also lost from Jadavpur, a seat he had won five times in a row since 1987.
Rahul Gandhi also echoed Bhattacharjee's thoughts, saying the alliance will be in power soon. He also reiterated Bhattacharjee's words on emphasising on industralisation and employment generation once they come to power.
A number of alliance candidates, including veteran Deepe Dasmunsi and young Turks like Satarup Ghosh, Madhuja Sen and others were present at the rally.
Bengal has seen election in 216 seats in five phases so far. The remaining 78 seats will go to polls in the remaining two phases on April 30 and May 5.
The results will be declared on May 19, along with those in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry.