The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against seeking permission for its proposed 'rath yatra' programme in the West Bengal, news agency ANI reported. BJP's ambitious roadshow in West Bengal had hit a roadblock again on Friday, with a division bench of the Calcutta High Court quashing a single bench order that had given a go-ahead to the event. On Thursday, a single bench of the Calcutta High Court had allowed the BJP to carry out "Save Democracy" political procession across the state ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The High Court decision came as a blow to the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government, that had denied permission for the “rath yatras”. The state government had told the court that the permission was denied following intelligence inputs expressing fear of a breach of communal harmony.
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The 'Rath Yatra', which was originally scheduled to start on December 7 but was denied permission by the state government, has become the latest political flashpoint between the saffron party and the state's ruling Trinamool Congress.
Both the parties have been at loggerheads after the state government's refused to grant the BJP permission to carry out the procession. The denial also irked BJP president Amit Shah, who had openly challenged that "nobody can stop rath yatras in the state". Shah had claimed that the permission was not granted because CM Banerjee was "terrified" that the BJP would expand its base in the state.
In a letter to state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, the West Bengal government had said it was unable to allow the yatra as intelligence reports indicated that “in several districts, organisations with overtly communal agenda, such as the RSS, the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, would actively join the yatra. There is a grave apprehension of major breach of peace... during and after the yatra”, the state government had said in the letter.
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Reacting to this, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya criticised the Trinamool Congress government’s decision and said his party would move a higher court against it, while Ghosh termed the decision “totally undemocratic.”
The BJP was scheduled to take out three rallies in West Bengal - one from Cooch Behar in the north, another from Kakdwip in the South 24 Parganas district on December 9 and the last one from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14.