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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Denied nod for Abhishek Banerjee’s Sept 15 rally in Tripura, TMC defers event by a day

While the Trinamool Congress has claimed that permission for the rally was denied due to a “conspiracy” hatched by the BJP, the saffron party said TMC was trying to create unrest in Tripura.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: September 13, 2021 9:36:27 pm
Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a Lok Sabha MP, appeared before the ED on September 6 in New Delhi on a summons by the agency. (Photo: PTI/File)

Tripura Police on Monday denied permission to TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee to conduct a rally in Agartala on September 15, following which the party deferred the rally by 24 hours.

Cops had refused to give the nod stating that another political party has been given the nod for political activities in the city on the same day. Hours later, TMC leader Kunal Ghosh said, “The decision to deny permission was ridiculous and shameful. We are receiving huge support from people, and could have still gone ahead with the rally. But our leaders want peace. So, we are deferring the rally by 24 hours.”

He said the rally, which would protest against alleged political violence in Tripura, would be attended by TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee along with other leaders. It will now be held on September 16, with the leaders set to walk from Rabindra Bhawan to Orient Chowmuhani in Agartala.

Asked if TMC has got police permission for the rally, Ghosh said his party had written an application which was rejected by cops on “false pretences”. He added, “We have accepted their letter declining us permission to hold the rally and deferred the event by 24 hours. The rest will be seen.”

Earlier, the Trinamool Congress had claimed that they were denied permission due to a “conspiracy” hatched by the BJP, after which the saffron party said the TMC has no organisational base in Tripura, and was trying to bring “outsiders” from Assam and West Bengal to trigger unrest and politicise it nationally.

Ghosh also told reporters that the BJP was afraid of the party’s growth in the state. “It’s proven today that BJP is scared of TMC’s growing acceptance in Tripura. TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee’s padyatra was scheduled here on September 15. The excitement around his rally is palpable. So, the BJP hatched a conspiracy to disrupt it and have used the administration to deny us permission,” he alleged.

Terming the reasons given by the police for denying the permission as “ridiculous”, he said: “The letter from the police said that during review, it was found that permission for organising a mass rally throughout Agartala city was already granted to another political party on the relevant date and time. It also said that on further review, it was found that the political party would be organising the mass rally on the same route sought by the TMC. This is ridiculous.”

He said the letter is self-contradictory. “The police have contradicted themselves regarding the venue. They wrote that permission for a rally across the entire city was given to a separate party, then contradicted themselves by saying that permission was given on the route we sought,” Ghosh pointed out. “We are constantly in touch with our leadership. We shall announce the next course of action soon,” Ghosh said.

Reacting to the allegations, Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury said in the evening, “We have come to know that they were not given permission. They didn’t apply at the proper time using the proper system. The law will take its own course.”

“Since they can’t cope with BJP karyakartas politically, they are trying to bring people from West Bengal, Silchar and Karimganj of Assam. We have got reports that they have plans to bring people of a certain section and unleash hooliganism, unrest in Agartala and other parts of Tripura. They intend to politicise these issues,” he said.

TMC Tripura leader Subal Bhowmik said a written application seeking permission for the rally was submitted to the police on September 11 but they deliberately delayed its reply. Echoing Ghosh’s words, he reiterated that the saffron party had used the administration to deny police permission for the rally.

Chowdhury accused the Opposition CPI(M) and the TMC of being two sides of the same coin. “They want to form a non-BJP alliance with Sharad Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal, MK Stalin, Chandrababu Naidu and others and come to power. In Tripura, we have seen the conspiracy of former CM Manik Sarkar a few days ago where their goons attacked BJP activists and created vandalism across Tripura. They have now handed over the baton of violence to TMC,” he added.

Abhishek Banerjee had visited Agartala on August 2 and said he would announce the party’s state leadership soon. A month later, however, there has been no word on the TMC’s choice of leadership. The political party is yet to form its organisational bodies, but claims it has been receiving massive response from the people in Tripura in its campaign against the BJP.

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