Claiming that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the State had never before been able to rally people together in such large numbers on the scale it did here on Sunday, the former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told a massive congregation that the very size of the gathering “proves that we are standing on firm ground and from which they [those in power now] have not been able to evict us.”

He was speaking at the open session that marked the conclusion of the 23{+r}{+d}State Conference of the CPI(M).

This was the first public rally to be organised by the party at the Brigade Parade ground since the Trinamool Congress-led government assumed power in the State in May 2011.

 Referring to the large assembly of people, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said: “The message being sent across the country and the world by this sea of humanity that has converged here today is that the red flag is fluttering and can never be brought down in West Bengal.”

Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Surya Kanta Mishrasaid: “The Chief Minister, I understand, is at home; I only hope she is watching it [the rally] on the television. I kindly request her not to switch off the set.”

Her government, Dr. Mishra said, “is trying to silence the CPI(M) both inside and outside the Assembly, but never would it be able to silence so many lakhs of people [gathered at the rally].”

 “We [CPI(M)] are here because you [the people] are there.” he added.