Denied nod for rath yatra, BJP to move Calcutta High Court against state govt

Denied nod for rath yatra, BJP to move Calcutta High Court against state govt

Citing intelligence reports of possible communal violence in the areas concerned, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday denied permission for the yatra, which was initially scheduled to be kicked off by BJP chief Amit Shah on December 7.

In a letter to Dilip Ghosh, the state government said it was unable to allow the yatra as proposed by the party. (File)

A day after the Mamata Banerjee government refused to give permission to the BJP for its proposed rath yatras, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday said they would approach a single bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday against the decision.

The saffron party will also hold protest rallies and law violation programmes across the state from Monday onwards to slam the government for the same, Ghosh added.

“We will approach the High Court’s single bench against the state government’s decision to deny us permission to take out rath yatras. Our party will also hold demonstrations against the murder of democracy in the state by the TMC,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Sunday.

In a letter to the BJP, the state government Saturday said, “The areas proposed to be covered by the yatra are, because of publicity and propaganda, gradually turning into communally sensitive pockets. Intelligence reports indicate that public perception is that the religious overtones of the yatra will be turned into communal propaganda. Furthermore, during the period cited, major festivals and events are scheduled, and it requires a heavy deployment of the resources of the government, including the police force. We are therefore of the opinion that, for the reasons which have been elaborately mentioned. it is not possible to allow the yatra as proposed by the BJP.”


The response from the state government came following a Calcutta High Court order which on December 7 directed the state chief secretary, the home secretary and the director general of police to hold a meeting with the three representatives of the BJP and take a decision by Friday. After holding a meeting with BJP leaders on Thursday, the state government officials told them that the decision will be conveyed to them by Saturday.


A major hurdle in BJP’s election programmes

With the state government turning down BJP’s plea for holding rath yatras in the state, it has become difficult for the saffron party to keep the momentum up ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha elections. Political analysts say that it is clear that the TMC’s move is aimed at creating hurdles in BJP’s mega programmes in the state and tactically delay or even foil its political events. The saffron party has been constantly knocking on the doors of the Calcutta High Court and even plans to go to the Supreme Court against the state government’s decision. But since the process is time-consuming, it is getting difficult for the state leaders to maintain the enthusiasm of the lower-rung workers. On top of it, the state leaders are also earning the wrath of the central leaders for “lack of planning”.

“We have taken a decision to hit the streets and protest against the state government’s decision not to allow us take out the rath yatras. Besides organising protest rallies, we will also hold law violation programmes. We will hold a meeting with all our district presidents on Thursday where we will decide the future of the ‘Save Democracy Yatra’,” said state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu.

Reacting to the BJP’s decision to move the court, senior TMC leader Sadhan Pande said, “This rally will turn into a communal one which will divide the people along religious lines. The administration has taken a tough stand against this. Now, the BJP wants to move the court again. It seems that they don’t take lessons from their past mistakes.”