The West Bengal government on Sunday denied permission to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from holding a rally in the state without any prior notice. Adityanath was supposed to address a rally in North Dinajpur, near Malda. “The permission for the CM’s rally has been declined by the West Bengal government without any prior notice,” news agency ANI reported quoting the UP chief minister’s office. In the run-up to the Lok Sabha election due this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kickstarted his poll campaign in West Bengal by addressing rallies in Thakurnagar and Durgapur.
Last month, there was a row between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress government over a landing spot for BJP president Amit Shah’s helicopter ahead of his rally in Malda. The Malda district administration had told the BJP that permission to land a helicopter on the ground opposite the Hotel Golden Park, where the aircraft of chief minister Banerjee also lands, will not be possible as the airport was being renovated and that construction material was lying on the runway.
According to reports and sources, the BJP plans to organise up to 200 public meetings in Bengal to boost ahead of the Lok Sabha Polls. PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have already held rallies in the state. Modi is scheduled to address another public meeting on February 8. Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani are among BJP leaders who will address the rallies in Bengal in the next few weeks. Bengal is crucial in the BJP’s plan for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the party has set itself a target of 22 seats in the state. The party which currently holds two seats in the state --- Darjeeling and Asansol --- has been bolstered with a number of senior Trinamool Congress leaders joining it.