West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress has put its game face on. And now the Bharatiya Janata Party is doing the same. To counter the TMC’s Khela Hobe Diwas plans on August 16, the BJP is organising Krira Diwas on Friday. The party has said it intends to hold about 5,426 football, kabaddi, cricket matches, etc, in all the districts of the state. And not just the cadres, the state leaders too are expected to participate.
“Khela Hobe”, meaning game on, was Trinamool’s campaign slogan for the April-May assembly elections in which it decisively defeated the BJP. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee later declared plans to organise a Khela Hobe Diwas on August 16, which would be marked by the distribution of footballs among needy children. The TMC says it will observe the day in the memory of 16 football fans who were killed during a match in Kolkata around 40 years ago. The BJP, though, has been objecting to the event, pointing out that August 16 was the day the Muslim League launched its Direct-Action Day in 1946 that triggered the great Calcutta killings — communal riots in which many lives were lost.