West Bengal, Feb 28: Former West Bengal chief minister and CPM veteran Buddhadeb Bhattacharya will not be attending the party’s mega rally at the Brigade Parade Ground on Sunday owing to ill health, sources said.

The Left-Congress-ISF alliance will kick-off its campaign for the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal at the Brigade Parade Ground, an iconic political platform in the city with a capacity to accommodate lakhs of people.

Bhattacharya, 76, expressed anguish at not being able to attend the public meeting.

My comrades are fighting on the ground, and I have to stay back at home as per the advice of doctors. It is unthinkable that such a massive rally is being held at the Brigade Parade Ground, and I cannot attend it. I wish the rally a grand success,” he said in a statement.

According to party sources, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is likely to send a written message for the Brigade rally.

During the last such event at the same venue in 2019, Bhattacharya stayed for a brief period but could not address the gathering due to poor health.

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CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury and ISF’s Abbas Siddiqui will be the main speakers at the Sunday rally.

Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav will also be present, besides state leaders of the Congress and the Left parties.

The RJD is a part of the Left-Congress alliance in West Bengal.

For the first time, once-bitter rivals Congress and the Left Front would be holding a joint rally in Kolkata.