West Bengal BJP Wednesday attacked the ruling Trinamool Congress for not giving permission to a rally of Union minister Nitin Gadkari in Malda, which was hit by violence recently, forcing it to shift the gathering to neighbouring South Dinajpur district.
“It is a shame that the state administration has not allowed us to hold the rally of Union minister Nitin Gadkari in Malda, citing that situation is not good in Kaliachak which is quite far away from the proposed meeting venue.
“We feel that the state government is trying to hide something and that is why they are not allowing anyone,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh told reporters here.
Violence broke out in Kaliachak area of Malda on December 3 last year over an alleged remark of a right-wing leader. Several vehicles were torched and public properties were destroyed.
Ghosh said that the rally, which was scheduled to be held on January 18 in Malda, will now be held in South Dinajpur district on the same date.
The police, however, said that they have not denied permission for holding the rally, rather they had asked for a land use certificate for holding the rally.
In Malda, district Additional Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Modi said they have not denied permission to the BJP for holding the rally and had only asked the party to produce land use permission from the District Sports Association as the public meeting is scheduled to be held at the DSA ground.
“The BJP had sought police permission for holding the meeting but had not submitted the DSA’s no-objection for use of the ground. Permission for holding the meeting could be given only on submission of the DSA’s clearance,” the ASP said.
The state BJP chief said,”The state government initially failed to control the incident, later on they tried to hush it up. If they keep on doing such things, matters will worsen further. They must take stern action rather than trying to cover up the incident,” Ghosh said.
He said that BJP national president Amit Shah will address a rally in Howrah district on January 25 and before that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will address another rally on January 21 in Barasat.
A team of BJP MPs on Monday was denied permission to visit violence-hit Kaliachak in Malda district, drawing a sharp attack from the party which accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of playing “vote bank” politics and said it will take the matter to the President.
TMC, on the other hand, accused the BJP of trying to communalise the issue ahead of the ensuing assembly poll in the state.