Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Friday claimed that the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal is suppressing the democratic process and misusing power.
Shah’s press conference comes a day after the Calcutta High Court denied the party permission to hold a “rath yatra” in West Bengal’s Coochbehar. Shah was scheduled to flag off the rally on Friday around noon.
The High Court on Friday directed three representatives of the BJP to meet the state’s chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police by December 12. The court asked the authorities to decide on granting permission to the BJP by December 14.
Shah said the saffron party’s “rath yatras” have not been cancelled, only postponed and that they will go ahead with the three planned rallies. Shah said he will come to Bengal to flag off the rallies when they take place.
“Mamata Banerjee is scared that if the BJP takes out all the planned rallies in the state of West Bengal and assemble in Kolkata then the foundation of a complete change will be laid down,” Shah claimed. “So she is attempting to stop all these yatras.”
Shah claimed West Bengal has become a hotbed for all illegal activities and that the state leads in the number of political killings. The entire state administration is working for the ruling Trinamool Congress, he said.
Shah alleged that the BJP on several occasions had written to the state’s home department as well as the director general of police for yatra permission, PTI reported. “The way Mamata Banerjee is using her government to trample upon democratic norms is very undemocratic and is throttling democracy,” he said.
The BJP chief also blamed the administration of resorting to the “politics of appeasement” in an indirect reference to the Muslim community. The state government neither had the capability nor the intention to act against groups related to terror, he said.
Shah rejected the Trinamool government’s claim that the BJP’s events would result in communal tension, saying that there had been zero incidents of communal flare-ups when he visited the state 23 times as the party chief. He alleged that the Trinamool and the state police were often behind such communal incidents.
The West Bengal BJP convened an emergency meeting on Friday in Coochbehar to discuss the course of action after the court’s order, PTI reported. The meeting was attended by BJP national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, state chief Dilip Ghosh, and Mukul Roy, among others.
The BJP had moved the High Court on Wednesday, claiming that the state government and the police had not responded to its applications seeking permission to hold three rallies in the state starting on Friday. The party had asked the court to direct the state to ensure that the “rath yatra” goes off smoothly.
The West Bengal government told the High Court on Thursday that it had refused permission for the proposed yatra as it could cause communal tension. Advocate General Kishore Dutta said Coochbehar’s superintendent of police has denied permission for the rally.