The Bharatiya Janata Party announced on Saturday that it will approach the Supreme Court challenging an order denying it permission to hold public rallies in West Bengal, ANI reported.
A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday had set aside an earlier judgement by a single bench that allowed the party to hold the rallies, after the state government moved an appeal challenging the single bench’s order. The state government had requested an urgent hearing and had moved the appeal before a division bench of Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar.
The rallies are expected to cover all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state. The saffron party has reportedly proposed to hold “rath yatras” from Cooch Behar, Sagar Island and Tarapith on December 22, December 24 and December 26.
Party chief Amit Shah was initially scheduled to launch a statewide programme at a public rally in Cooch Behar on December 7. The BJP moved the High Court after the state government did not respond to its requests for permission. The court asked the state government and the BJP leadership to discuss the matter, but the government refused permission. The BJP then moved the High Court with a fresh plea.
The Trinamool Congress-led government had on December 15 refused permission for the rallies citing intelligence reports that purportedly warned of possible communal violence in areas where the party planned to hold the events.
Shah had claimed on December 7 that the Mamata Banerjee government is suppressing the democratic process and misusing power. He had also 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.