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TMC to take out Kirtan processions to counter BJP Rathyatra

twitter-logoPTI | December 5, 2018 | Updated 22:13 IST

Suri (WB), Dec 5 (PTI) With BJP president Amit Shah slated to flag off the party's 'Rathayatra' from Tarapeeth in West Bengal's Birbhum district on December 14, the district Trinamool Congress will organise processions by Kirtan singers on the same day to counter it, party sources said. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) distributed 4,000 pieces of 'khol' and 8,000 pieces of 'kartal', musical instruments used while singing 'kirtans' (religious songs), at Bolpur on Wednesday, they said. Khol is popular among Vaishnavites in Bengal and Assam and is very similar to 'mridangam', while kartal is a percussion instrument mainly used in devotional and folk songs. TMC district unit president Anubrata Mondal while distributing the musical instruments at a programme here said the Kirtan processions would be held in 19 blocks of Birbhum district and five blocks of neighbouring Burdwan district. Asked by scribes to comment on the Kirtan procession coinciding with the BJP's Ratha yatra, Mondal termed the saffron party's proposed programme a "funeral procession". "There are so many cremation grounds in Birbhum district ... I have faith in religion. We have distributed khols and kartals so that kirtan programmes may be held and devotees can chant the name of God. It is a good programme. "The Kirtan processions will be held to cleanse Birbhum district," he said. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will launch its high-profile Rathyatra from December 7 and party president Amit Shah will kickstart the campaign titled 'Save Democracy Rally'. The campaign is scheduled to begin from Coochbehar district in the north on December 7, from Kakdwip in the South 24 Parganas district on December 9 and from Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14. This is for the first time that the saffron party will undertake a political campaign of such a magnitude, covering nearly 10,000 kms spread across all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. The party has claimed that the Rathyatra would be a "game changer" in the West Bengal politics. Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, several top BJP leaders and chief ministers such as Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Raman Singh, Yogi Adityanath, Uma Bharati and Giriraj Singh will participate in the campaign. Modi is also likely to attend four rallies to give a thrust to the party's campaign in the state ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Shah had set a target of winning 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. PTI COR KK SRY

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