The West Bengal Congress leadership is planning a “peace rally” on November 10 at Lalgarh — till recently the epicentre of Maoist activity — in Paschim Medinipur district.
“The programme is aimed at highlighting the party's stand in support of peace, democracy and development,” West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Manas Bhunia told The Hindu over telephone from New Delhi on Wednesday.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi have been informed of the programme that was decided following consultations with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Dr. Bhunia said.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief of the Trinamool Congress — an alliance partner of the Congress — had addressed a rally at Lalgarh on August 9. But the leaderships of the two parties have major differences on the question of Maoist activity in the region.
On his meeting with Ms. Gandhi after being retained as the party's West Bengal president, Dr. Bhunia said he had been “directed to reach out to the people, strengthen the organisation of the party and expose the failures of the Left Front government in the State.”