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India: Election rallies scheduled in West Bengal, northeastern states April 3 /update 1

Competing election rallies planned West Bengal, Assam, Nagaland, and Meghalaya states on April 3; heightened security measures and localized congestion and disruptions expected

03 Apr 06:29 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 4/2/2019, 12:00 AM until 4/4/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION Siliguri (West Bengal state), West Bengal, India, Assam state, Meghalaya state, Nagaland state
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Event

Several campaign rallies will be held in northeastern India on Wednesday, April 3, along with heightened security measures and localized congestion and disruptions. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will hold election rallies in Siliguri and Kolkata (West Bengal state) on Wednesday, both featuring Prime Minster Narendra Modi. Modi will speak at the Siliguri event, which is being held at the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, at 13:00 (local time) before flying to Kolkata to deliver a speech at Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground at 15:00. Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) will host an event in Dinhata in northern West Bengal at 15:00. In the northeast states, Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will attend several campaign events in Assam, Nagaland, and Meghalaya states. Gandhi will reportedly visit Dimapur (Nagaland state), Bokakhat (Assam state), Lakhimpur district (Assam state), and Shillong (Meghalaya state) for campaign rallies and party meetings.

Heightened security measures, including checkpoints, increased security personnel, and road closures, are likely near all political rallies and at the Bagdogra Airport (IXB) and Kolkata's Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU). Localized transportation and business disruptions are similarly possible. Other political demonstrations are expected across India in the coming days and weeks in the lead up to Lok Sabha parliamentary elections.

Context

India is scheduled to hold general elections beginning April 11. Voting in West Bengal will take place on April 11, 18, 23, 29 and May 6, 12, and 19; voters in Assam will go to the polls on April 11, 18, and 23; Meghalaya and Nagaland will hold their elections on April 11.

Advice

Individuals in the abovementioned locations, and India more generally, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all political demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate disruptions and a heightened security presence, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.

 

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