Despite the Calcutta High Court granting permission to Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — the BJP youth wing — to organise a statewide motorcycle rally, the saffron party on Friday cancelled its week-long programme after it allegedly came under the attack of Trinamool Congress activists outside West Bengal BJP headquarters in Kolkata.
Ahead of the start of the rally, clashes erupted between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in separate places. While the first incident took place at Binani Bhawan in Pathuriaghata Street, the second took place outside state BJP headquarters. Some TMC workers also allegedly pelted stones at the BJP members and beat them up with sticks.
“Our workers were all set to take out our proposed bike rally after getting the Calcutta High Court order on Thursday. But TMC workers foiled our attempts by attacking our workers at several places. Firstly, they attacked our workers at Binani Bhawan. Later they attacked our workers outside our state headquarters. Despite having the court order, we are not being allowed to take out the bike rally.We have decided to cancel our programme,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh told reporters outside state BJP headquarters as he demanded the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
The vehicle of the special officer, Ravi Shankar Dutta, who was appointed by Calcutta High Court to monitor BJP’s bike rally, was also damaged. Ghosh said they would launch a sit-in-demonstration in front of Gandhi Statue in Kolkata and would meet Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi to apprise him of the incident and demand President’s rule in West Bengal.
“A complete lawlessness is prevailing in the state. The Opposition is not allowed to exercise its rights and continuously coming under the attack of ruling party workers. We demand the imposition of President’s Rule in the state and we will meet the Governor to apprise him of the incident,” Ghosh said. Echoing the same, BJP leader Mukul Roy said, “There is no democracy in West Bengal and today’s just proved that.”
The TMC, however, denied such allegations and said it were the BJP workers who indulged in vandalism. “BJP workers destroyed public property and beat up local people. They have used the occasion of the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda to indulge in hooliganism. They wanted to hijack the birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda and indulged in politics over it. They also brought their workers from other parts of the city to create tension here,” said TMC leader and state minister Shashi Panja.
The BJP had decided to take out a bike rally across the state from January 11 to 18 as part of its ‘Pratirodh Sankalp Abhiyan’. However, the police had cancelled permission to the rally which forced the BJP to move Calcutta High Court. The court had granted the party permission to organise the rally under certain conditions.
Earlier on Wednesday, a single bench of the HC had also granted permission to the BJYM, after which the state government challenged the order. Upholding the earlier order, however, the division bench dismissed the state’s appeal.