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Top leaders reach Kolkata to attend TMC's mega rally, Kharge to represent Congress


Kolkata, Jan 18: To demonstrate the unity of the opposition parties against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the coming Lok Sabha elections Trinamool Congress (TMC) is all set to host a mega rally in Kolkata today.

Chiefs of regional parties and chief ministers have arrived in Kolkata. Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin have reached Kolkata on Friday.

 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee meets with Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) president HD Deve Gowda at a city hotel in Kolkata, Friday, January 18,2019. Anti BJP leaders are arriving in Kolkata to attend TMC Mega rally. PTI file photo

More than 20 national leaders, including former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Arun Shourie; three present chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and H D Kumaraswamy; and former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Akhilesh Yadav and Gegong Apang will attend the meeting, TMC sources told PTI.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have decided to skip the Kolkata event because the West Bengal Congress is opposed to an alliance with Banerjee's Trinamool Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

However, AICC general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge will represent the Congress at the rally.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the mega opposition rally being hosted by her Trinamool Congress here on January 19 would sound the "death knell" for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls and regional parties would be the deciding factor.

She also claimed that the BJP's seat count in the general election will not cross more than 125. The number of seats that the state parties will win will be much more than the BJP's, further claimed.

Large scale preparations have been made to ensure that it is a complete success. Besides the huge podiums, 20 watch towers have been erected and 1,000 microphones and 30 LED screens put up so that the spectators can see and hear the speeches of the leaders clearly.

(With PTI inputs)

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