The Left-Congress-ISF alliance kicked off their campaign for the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Elections on Sunday with a mega rally at Kolkata’s famed Brigade Parade Ground. The venue has been popularised by the state’s Left Front for hosting massive rallies over the years. Supporters gathered by the lakhs to support the alliance. The introduction of the ISF has turned the election from a bi-partisan battle to a triangular face-off involving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Left-Congress-ISF alliance. Former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, who was scheduled to partake in the event, could not be in attendance over health concerns but penned a heartfelt letter for the supporters. The rally was attended by eminent leaders like the Indian Secular Front (ISF) chief Abbas Siddiqui, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Chattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and West Bengal Left Front chairman Biman Bose. ISF chief Abbas Siddiqui said that the alliance would defeat BJP and “its B-team Mamata Banerjee”. He said that the TMC supremo has unleashed anarchy upon the state and that they would pay for it in the polls. Despite joining forces with the Congress, Siddiqui’s ISF and the Grand Old Party stand in murky waters. The seat-sharing between the two has not yet been decided, and Siddiqui said, alluding to the Congress, that he was not in the partnership for any kind of appeasement, but to get his “rightful claims”. Asserting that the battle for Bengal was no longer a two-party affair, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the massive gathering at Brigade was proof of the alliance’s strong chance of winning power. “But in the future, there will not be any BJP or TMC. Only the grand alliance will remain,” he said. Chattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel claimed that both TMC and BJP were trying to divide the people. He said that India had to be saved from BJP, and Bengal from, TMC. Baghel attacked Narendra Modi over his decision to railway stations and airports, saying that the BJP had become the ‘West India Company’, selling everything to two entities, without naming anyone. He also criticized Modi over rising fuel prices and naming the Motera cricket ground after himself. Shifting his focus to Mamata Banerjee, Baghel said that while anyone who spoke up against Modi was termed anti-national, anyone who spoke up against Banerjee in Bengal was termed anti-government. He also slammed the TMC supremo for reducing the prices of petrol and diesel by only Re 1. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that in case of a hung assembly, Mamata would not hesitate to join hands with the BJP to form the government. Yechury termed the fight between BJP and TMC as a “mock fight”, claiming that the former was using money from the PM CARES fund to “buy” leaders during the time of elections. The CPI(M) general secretary said that the TMC had to be defeated first in order to halt the communal bandwagon of the RSS-BJP. He also said that both parties were using religion to divert the attention from the problems being faced by the people of the country and the state. Yechury claimed that what the BJP was doing with the farmers, the TMC was doing with the youth of Bengal.