BJP president Amit Shah on Friday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “strangulating” democracy, after the Trinamool Congress-led state government refused to give the BJP permission to hold three rath yatras in the state.
The BJP had scheduled the rath yatras for December 7, 9, and 14 as part of its preparations for next year’s Lok Sabha elections, but after the state government refused permission, the BJP was forced to postpone them.
On Friday, Shah said the BJP wrote to the West Bengal Home Secretary and DGP on October 29, seeking permission for the yatras, and later reminders were sent on November 14, 12, and 20, but permission was not granted.
“Mamata is scared because the BJP has raised its voice and the public is getting aware of the misgoverance of the TMC government. She is scared that when BJP’s three yatras will conclude in Kolkata, it would have laid foundation of change in the state,” Shah told reporters at the party’s headquarters in Delhi.
“We will definitely carry out all yatras, nobody can stop us. The BJP is committed to change in West Bengal. The yatras have not been cancelled, just postponed,” Shah said. The BJP chief said he will flag off all yatras.
Shah said his party will follow the judicial process and could even approach the Supreme Court to get permission for the yatras. He claimed the way Banerjee is “using” her government to “trample upon democratic norms” was “throttling democracy”.
He rejected the state government’s claim that his party’s events might cause communal tension, saying he visited West Bengal 23 times as the BJP president since 2014 and there had never been any communal flare-up. He also said that he will visit Kolkata to attend a party workers meet Saturday.
Keeping West Bengal as the focus of the press conference, Shah said people in the state are ready for change and asserted that the BJP will win a majority of seats in 2019 elections in leadership of Narendra Modi.
The BJP chief also cited a study to claim that the state accounts for 26 per cent of political murders in the country.