Former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee expressed his anguish for not being able to attend the Left-Congress’ Brigade rally in Kolkata on Sunday.

In a statement, Bhattacharjee, 76, wrote, “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.”

CPIM had requested Bhattacharjee’s medical team to allow him to take part in the Brigade event for five minutes. However, the doctors disallowed.

Understanding that it won’t be possible for him to be present there, Bhattacharjee will send a written message for the lakhs of Left, Congress and Indian Secular Front supporters who will attend the mega event.

Meanwhile, the Left Front and Congress, alongwith their yet-to-be-declared partner Indian Secular Front (ISF), will kick off their campaign for the overhyped Bengal assembly elections at the Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata on Sunday.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front and the Congress have already sealed a seat-sharing agreement, while the talks between the Left and Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui’s ISF have also concluded with both agreeing on 30 seats for the newly- floated outfit.

The negotiations between Congress and the Indian Secular Front (ISF) are at present underway, and both sides are hopeful that the differences over a few seats would be resolved, sources said.

“The mega rally at Brigade will mark the beginning of our campaign for the assembly elections. We want to provide an alternative to the anti-people and communal politics of the TMC and the BJP,” senior Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya said.

“A section of the press, and the TMC and the BJP are trying to project it as a two-cornered contest, but it will be a three-way fight in Bengal,” he added.

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

Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress’ central leader Randeep Surjewala will also be present, besides state leaders of the Congress and the Left parties.