West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scared of the BJP, which is why she has refused permission to the party to hold rallies in the state, said BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday. Shah was scheduled to visit Coochbehar, which he cancelled after the Calcutta High Court denied permission to the BJP to hold its rally following the state government expressing apprehensions of violence. The BJP leadership was in a huddle since morning to discuss the future course of action.
Shah underlined that the rallies have only been postponed, for now, not cancelled, and that they will hold rallies in the state soon. The party has scheduled a total of three rallies in the state.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Shah alleged that BJP’s popularity in Bengal is being seen by the CM as a potential threat to her rule. He added she won’t be able to control public by preventing BJP’s entry in her state.
Shah further alleged that it is under Mamata’s rule that West Bengal started leading other states in political murder. Violence against women and children has also reached its peak. Education has also taken a backseat in the state with no admission being possible without donations, he said.
Shah alleged that mafia operations have notched up at many places in West Bengal and the state chief minister, too, is providing support to such activities. Referring to the last Panchayat elections in West Bengal, he said, the state hadn’t seen an election as violent as that where the ruling party allegedly spread terror among the voters.
Earlier, the state government had refused to provide a venue to the BJP for a public meeting. A BJP worker then offered his 7-bigha agricultural land in Jhinaidnaga for the party to host the gathering. A stage was set up on the farmland and elaborate seating arrangements were also made.
On Thursday night, the Calcutta High Court had denied permission for the rally, saying there was not enough time for the state to make adequate security arrangements for a political rally of that scale. The high court also directed the party not to hold any such rally till January 9, 2019. Lawyers from the BJP had then approached the division bench of the high court.