BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
Kolkata: Leading her campaign to capture power in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday undertook yet another mammoth padayatra in north Kolkata in a bid to reach out to voters.
The 7 km padayatra from Tallah Park to Poolbagan saw thousands of party supporters and several top leaders marching through four Assembly seats of Cossipur-Belgatchia, Shyampukur, Beliaghata and Maniktala.
Apart from candidates of these four constituencies, Trinamool Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyya also participated in the march with Mamata. The close to two-hour walk by the Railway Minister without break was the second padayatra undertaken by her in three days, the earlier one having been held at Behala in her South Kolkata Lok Sabha seat on March 27 when she officially kicked off the party’s poll campaign.
As in her first padayatra, people perched themselves on balconies, clambered onto the rooftops and lined up the roads to catch a glimpse of the leader who is widely perceived to be on the brink of bringing a change in the state. Many showered flower petals on the firebrand leader amidst drum beating by enthusiastic supporters as traffic movement came to a virtual standstill in many areas along the route.
With the Election Commission’s restrictions on use of microphones due to the on-going examinations, the Trinamool Congress chief was banking on padyatras, while her arch rival Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee chose to hold election meetings in closed spaces with no loudspeakers.
The Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi recently declined a unanimous request by all political parties to lift the restriction on the use of microphones for campaigning till April 13. The parties said the restriction had left them with just three days to organise mass-campaigns in the six north Bengal districts which will go to poll on April 18.