The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday moved the Calcutta High Court against the West Bengal Police and the Trinamool Congress-led state government, alleging that they were not replying to its requests for permission to conduct “rath yatras” in the coming days, PTI reported.
The saffron party has scheduled three rallies in West Bengal – one starting from Coochbehar on December 7, another from the South 24 Parganas district on December 9, and the third from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14. Party chief Amit Shah will lead the rallies. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said the yatra “will be a game changer” in the next general elections.
Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty granted Advocate General Kishore Dutta, who represented the state government, time until Thursday to seek the state’s response on the matter. The court also asked both parties to negotiate the matter between themselves before adjourning the hearing till Thursday.
The BJP’s counsel, Anindya Mitra, told the court that the party had sent requests to the director general and inspector general of police on October 29 and home secretary on November 14, but had received no replies.
Dutta said that the party should have been aware that the officials were not the competent authorities to grant permissions. The state also countered Mitra’s argument that the government had not replied to a letter from Governor KN Tripathi, who had asked it to consider the application. The advocate general said the governor, being a constitutional authority, should not have intervened on behalf of a political party.
The state’s representative said the rallies needed major security measures that would take more than a day to facilitate.
Meanwhile, the BJP claimed that a group of unidentified people had vandalised posters and banners erected ahead of the event in Coochbehar, India Today reported. “We suspect this is the handiwork of Trinamool Congress goons,” said Chayan Das, a local BJP worker. “If they think they can intimidate us with such acts, let us remind them we shall join [BJP President] Amit Shah’s rath yatra in large numbers.”