The BJP’s West Bengal unit on Wednesday organised ‘law violation programme’ in various parts of the state to protest the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government’s refusal to allow the proposed Rath Yatra programme in the state. BJP activists clashed with the police in Howrah, South Dinajpur and Hooghly district after the party was denied permission for a protest meeting.
“We are forced to hold law violation programmes because the police and the administration are behaving like cadres of the TMC. We were denied permission to hold our Save Democracy rally. Now when we want to organise protest meeting, that too has been denied,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said while addressing the law violation programme in Howrah.
“We are a political party which is running the government at the Centre. The state government is behaving in such a way as if we are a party of extremists. We are a party of nationalist forces,” he said.
It is only in West Bengal that opposition parties are not allowed to hold rallies, Ghosh said. BJP president Amit Shah was scheduled to flag off three chariots from different parts of the state. The chariots were meant to travel across the state’s 42 parliamentary constituencies over the next one-and-a-half months before concluding in Kolkata, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was likely to address a rally.
The ‘Rath Yatra’ was scheduled to start from Cooch Behar district on December 7 but was stalled, following which the BJP had moved the high court.
A division bench of the Calcutta High Court had directed the state chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police to hold a meeting with three representatives of the BJP by December 12 and take a decision on the rally by December 14.
After the meeting, the Mamata Banerjee-led government had on Saturday denied permission for the ‘Rath Yatra’ on the ground that it might cause communal tension before the coming Lok Sabha polls. BJP then again knocked on the Calcutta High Court’s door.
As part of its protest programme, the party had organised a rally in Arambagh area of Hooghly district on Monday. The BJP leaders have also threatened to organise a “law violation” campaign in the state if they are stopped from holding the protest rallies.