The Kolkata Police has granted permission for Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s proposed rally in Central Kolkata on March 1 after days of dilly-dallying. On February 20, the BJP had submitted a letter to the Kolkata Police seeking permission for the rally at Shahid Minar Ground.
BJP state general secretary Rathindra Bose told reporters Tuesday, “We have received the permission on Monday for the proposed rally. Now, we will go ahead with our plan as per schedule.”
Shah is scheduled to address the rally on March 1 where state BJP leaders will felicitate him for the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the Parliament. This will be Shah’s second visit to West Bengal after assuming the office of the Union home minister. He had addressed a seminar on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 at Netaji Indoor Stadium on October 1 last year.
Reacting to the development, senior TMC leader and Bengal Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Tapas Ray, said the BJP was “deliberately trying to make an issue out of a non-issue”. “They had applied (for the permission) on Thursday and expected that it would be given by Friday morning. This is absurd,” he said.
Senior CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty claimed that had the Left parties applied for any programme, permission would not have been granted.
“Had we applied for any programme or seminar, it would have been cancelled right away. But as it is a BJP event, permission has been granted,” he said.
Earlier last week, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh had accused the Kolkata Police and the district administration of dilly-dallying over granting the permission. “Police are delaying the permission by citing Board exams and said we will not be able to use loudspeakers during our programme,” Ghosh had said. The blaring of loudspeakers has been restricted across the state on account of the ongoing board examinations.
The TMC government had earlier denied police permission for several rallies of Amit Shah when he was the BJP president.
(With PTI inputs)
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