Two giant tents, CCTV cameras, a help desk and a health kiosk — these are among arrangements made by the TMC at Gitanjali Stadium in Kolkata, which will accommodate around 20,000 party workers ahead of the Brigade Rally.
Apart from the stadium, three other major camps — at Central Park in Salt Lake, Uttirna and Khudiram Anushilan Kendra — also have the same facilities.
“We will put in place the best arrangements to make them feel at home,” said state minister and TMC leader Nirmal Majhi, who was monitoring activities at Gitanjali Stadium Thursday. He said around 1,000 TMC workers would look after party members who will stay at the camps for the next two days.
“From breakfast to dinner, all meals will be provided. Blankets will be distributed,” said TMC councillor Sushanta Ghosh.
While Gitanjali Stadium will accommodate workers from Malda and Murshidabad, Central Park is being used for workers from North Bengal districts. “Our target is to bring more than 50 lakh people to the rally. The kind of support we have received so far makes it evident that people have responded to Mamata’s call,” said TMC councillor Ashim Kumar Bose.
At Sealdah station, buses have been arranged to ferry workers to the camps. Workers will also be ferried to the Brigade Parade grounds Saturday. State minister Jyotipriya Mallick was at the station to receive workers who arrived Thursday. “A large number of people have arrived today and more will come tomorrow,” he said.
Chaitanya Karmakar from Malda’s Harishchandrapur said, “I had missed the 2011 brigade rally… About 150 workers have come from Harishchandrapur area and more will come tonight.”
Sheikh Maqbool of Berhampore in Murshidabad said he came to support TMC’s fight to restore communal harmony.
“Minorities are being targeted in the name of cow protection. Religious violence has increased under the BJP government at the Centre. We don’t want to live in fear for the rest of our lives,” he said.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee visited the Uttirna camp, which will accommodate workers from Purulia and Bankura.
Samar Haldar, TMC worker from Bishnupur, said he was visiting Kolkata for the first time. “I am looking forward to listening to our leader. I will also visit Alipore Zoo and Victoria Memorial,” he said. For those who are planning to explore Kolkata, TMC sources said special passes were arranged.
Few women were in the camps. A senior TMC leader said some women are likely to turn up on Friday. “Workers from nearby districts such as Howrah, Hooghly and Burdwan will arrive Saturday. Many will be women who will return to their respective areas afterwards,” said the leader.