Kolkata, May 14: Amid chanting of Jai Shree Ram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai, the maiden roadshow of BJP president Amit Shah in the city began as hundreds of thousands saffron brigade virtually laid siege the major central and northern parts of the city with vehicular traffic came to total halt this afternoon.
" We are going to win over 23 seats when the result will be out on May 23 as the people have been supporting the BJP to get rid out of Mamata Didi government in near future," Mr Shah told reporters from his hooded open mini-truck.
Mr Shah said the sea of humanity showed how the people of West Bengal wanted to get rid of Mamata Didi from her dictatorial regime.
Mr Shah claimed that the BJP would win more than 23 seats, much more than its expectation as the people were looking for a change of guard in the state.
Mr Shah also dared Mamata Didi to arrest him for chanting Jai Sree Ram. The road show, the first of its kind for BJP in West Bengal, has also given a national character as people from other states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and tribal people from the state with traditional costume took part in the rally as they danced while marching.
The roadshow was at snail pace due to crowding around the mini-truck on which Mr Shah was seen waving his hands and sprinkling petals of marigold.
The six-kms stretch upto Simla Street near the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda will take more time that its scheduled.
Mr Shah, who was driven directly from Dum Dum airport to the starting venue of road show at Esplanade, first took an open hooded small car but changed to a mini-truck decked with saffron color after the vehicle could not accommodate other front ranking leaders of the state leadership.
Mr Shah called Mukul Roy to come to the mini truck along with 'Rahul Sinha and Dilip Ghosh after Roy walked on the street at Dharmatala.
Meanwhile, scores of students waving black flags were standing in the gate of University of Calcutta from where Mr Shah would move through to Simla Street. On the other side, BJP's students wing also assembled chanting Jai Sree Ram as tension was simmering despite the presence of heavy contingent of police.
BJP's observer Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged the TMC government attempted to skirt the road show by removing and demolishing hoardings and posters of PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah along the roads leads to the ancestral home of Swami Vivekananda in north Kolkata.
He alleged the goons of the TMC and policemen forcefully removed those posters in guise of election commission order.
He said the BJP has permission from the election commission to have the road show of Amit Shah.
Mr Vijayvargiya had also exchange of words with a police official over erection of a manch at Subodh Mallick Square en-route to north Kolkata.
However, those posters were again put by the BJP activists, who also broke the windscreen of a van at Dharmatala.
Meanwhile, thousands of BJP supporters from all walks of life assembled in the city's main hub to participate the road show, ahead of 7th phase poll on May 19, to make to a historic with marigold flowers all way from Esplanade to Simla Street, about 6 km stretch.
Tribal people with traditional drums and their women folks matka on head marched the street in tandem chanting "Jai Sree Ram", a slogan that created controversy between the BJP leadership and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the TMC government arrested three persons for raising such slogan in a tribal, village recently.
To make Amit Shah's maiden road show a historic event in Kolkata, the BJP leadership here had decided it will put marigold all the way from his starting point at Shahid Minar to the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda in northern part of the city as over 10,000 kgs of flowers were being imported from Bagnan in Howrah district.
Mr Shah, who has been electioneering for BJP candidates since Monday for the 7th and final phase of voting on May 19, is scheduled to lead a party's road show from Shahid Minar at Maidan to Shimla Street's ancestral home of Swami Vivekananda, the famous disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, in north Kolkata.
The 6-km stretch will be covered with marigold flowers as Amit Shah will lead the road show for the first time in this metropolis, a former bastion of CPI(M) and now the stronghold of Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress for past decade.
Party's Howrah district leader Pratush Mondal said the task of collecting the marigold was given to them as Bagnan is famous for producing the yellow color flowers.
He said nearly 70 farmers have been working for past three days collecting flowers and stored at party's Bagnan office for final transportation to Kolkata. He said other was to collect around 20,000 kgs but this was not the season and they could collect only 10,000 kgs.
He said the price of around Rs 2 lakh for 10,000 kgs of marigold, for which the farmers were happy to get good price at the time when flowers were not in great demand during summer.
The city traffic is expected to come in to deadlock for hours, particularly in central and north Kolkata. (UNI)