KOLKATA : Massive protests, led by the Left against Prime Minister’s arrival in the West Bengal, forced police and security personnel in Kolkata to abandon Narendra Modi’s customary road trip from the airport. They used helicopter and boats to ferry him from venue to venue instead.
Thousands of students, Left workers and members of the civil society had overwhelmed the streets, camping the in city since Saturday, chanting “No CAA”. “No NRC” , “Go Back”. Mamata Banerjee’s police found themselves lost for maneuvers, given the crowd massiveness.
Roads from the airport remained impenetrable after tens of hundreds of protesters filled the streets there, forcing Modi to board the police helicopter to cross over 16 km stretch to arrive at Raj Bhavan. Later, the Prime Minister made his visit to Ramakrishnan via boat over Hubli river.
Hundreds of protesters sat on the road shouting “Modi Go Back” at Esplanade, just 500m away from Netaji Indoor Stadium, where Modi had come down to attend the 150th Anniversary function of Kokkata Port. Groups that tried to march towards Netaji stadium were barricaded by police at Red Road, near Mahatma Gandhi memorial. The 12-hour protests led by Left brought the city to a standstill. Demonstrators burnt effigies of Modi at Esplanade square.
As the heat against Mamata holding talks with Modi intensified through the weekend, Chief Minister softened her stand saying, PM was arriving to carry out only constitutionally valid matters and that controversial issues shall be presented to him, during the meeting.