Kolkata, Apr 8 (PTI) The Left parties, led by a bevy of intellectuals, took out a rally in the city today to promote peace and communal harmony even as the state BJP criticized the move.

Artistes from different fields, including film director Tarun Majumdar, poet Sankha Ghosh and playwright Rudraprasad Sengupta, were seen raising slogans against religious polarization at the rally.

A large number of common people also joined the cause with festoons and placards.

The state had witnessed communal violence over Ram Navami processions in several pockets last month. At least two persons were killed in the clashes.

While the intellectuals took the lead at today’s demonstration, senior CPI(M) and Left Front leaders like Surjyakanta Mishra and Biman Bose chose to stay behind.

“I thought it was necessary to join the cause a strong message must reach people. We don’t walk in rallies generally, but given the situation, we were left with no option,” director Tarun Majumdar said.

The rally that originated at Esplanade, in the heart of the city, concluded a couple of kilometres away at Rabindra Sadan area, considered to be the seat of artistic and intellectual activities in the metropolis.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh took a dig at the intellectuals and said the move will not have any effect on the masses.

“They (the Left) have lost touch with people and walking a few steps will not solve the real problems of the masses,” Ghosh said.

Today’s demonstration came days after another set of intellectuals, including former Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Kabir Suman and artist Shuvaprasanna, held a press meet here to condemn the communal clashes, which they said “were an aberration and not a norm” in West Bengal.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.