BJP and VHP will not organise any big rally to mark Hanuman Jayanti on Saturday in the wake of violence triggered by Ram Navami processions. State BJP General Secretary Sayantan Basu said the party will not organise any programme to mark the festival. “If anyone invites any party leader to any programme, they may attend. I will be part of a celebration in Dum Dum. But as a party, we will not organise anything,” he said.
Basu said the BJP would take part in some events organised by local clubs. “Hanuman Jayanti is not as popular as Ram Navami in Bengal and we won’t organise any rally. There are so many festivals. It is not possible to celebrate all on a huge scale,” he added.
The VHP too will not take out rallies in the state, but will organise an awareness programme on Ram Mandir. “We have scheduled programmes for awareness on Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The awareness drive started on March 18 across the country and will continue till March 31. In Bengal, we will do this tomorrow but it will be inside temples,” said Sourish Mukherjee, state media in-charge of VHP.
State VHP president Sachindranath Singha said it might create problems if major rallies were taken out. “Only last week, we had such huge Ram Navami celebrations, which at some places led to violence. Now taking out rallies on Hanuman Jayanti will send a wrong message,” he said.
Trinamool Congress, however, said that it would take out processions to mark the festival. TMC MLA Lakshmi Ratan Shukla will lead one such procession in Howrah. “We will take out a procession in a peaceful manner. TMC government believes in taking all religions together. There has been no law and order problem in Bengal. It is now that some outsiders have come to create trouble,” Shukla said.
More than a thousand policemen will be deployed in and around Kolkata to ensure peaceful celebrations. Police have been directed to stop any procession with arms or loud speakers.