The West Bengal government-run Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata has denied permission to the BJP to hold an event, which was scheduled to be attended by party chief Amit Shah. This comes even as Mahajati Sadan, also run by the state government, denied permission for an event which was to be addressed by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
“We had submitted two applications to Netaji Indoor Stadium to book the hall for September 10 or 12. The authorities asked us to collect the confirmation letter on August 30. However, on that day, they said the stadium was unavailable for booking till Durga Puja,” state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said. “TMC is scared of BJP and that’s why it has denied us permission. This exposes that there is no democracy in West Bengal.”
Meanwhile, an outfit named Sister Nivedita Mission Trust had booked Mahajati Sadan for October 3 for an event on Sister Nivedita’s role in India’s nationalist movement. Besides Bhagwat, the trust had invited Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.
General secretary of the trust, Rantideb Sengupta, said the auditorium authorities cancelled the booking last Thursday. “We booked the auditorium in July. We had informed Joint CP (Headquarters) of Kolkata Police about our event. On August 31, Mahajati Sadan authorities told us that the booking has been cancelled. They told us to get an NOC from Kolkata Police. While we were about to obtain the NOC, they informed us on September 1 that the auditorium was unavailable as it will be under maintenance.”
Mahajati Sadan secretary Nurul Huda said the auditorium will undergo maintenance work from September 26 to October 6. “All bookings in this period have been cancelled,” he added. Jishnu Basu, RSS karyavaha (secretary) for south Bengal, said, “It seems the state is being run by fundamentalists. Permission was denied for a Mohan Bhagwat event in the city earlier too.”
State Education Minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said there have been instances of Netaji Indoor Stadium authorities refusing permission for events to be attended by CM Mamata Banerjee. “They (BJP) are creating issues to stay in the limelight,” he told reporters.
The official Twitter handle of Kolkata Police said, “Permission for programme at Mahajati Sadan to Nivedita Mission trust not been denied by KP. This is to clarify misinformation being spread…”