The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday said party President Amit Shah’s rally in Kolkata’s Jadavpur constituency, scheduled during the day, was cancelled after the state government denied permission for the event, PTI reported. The Trinamool Congress-led government, however, denied the allegation.

Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said the BJP’s allegations were baseless. “We have nothing to do with it,” Chatterjee said. “They themselves have cancelled the rally as they were afraid that the rally might turn out to be a flop show.”

BJP media head and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said the party would stage protests and move the Election Commission. He accused the poll panel of becoming a “mute spectator” to Trinamool Congress’s undemocratic ways of targeting the BJP. “It is unfortunate that the EC [Election Commission] has become a mute spectator to all this and also use of violence by the TMC in the state,” he added.

Shah was scheduled to address rallies in Jayanagar, Jadavpur and Barasat constituencies on Monday. The three constituencies will vote in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 19.

BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed that the district administration had unnecessarily delayed permission for Shah’s helicopter to land in the area. “The district magistrate has been acting like a TMC party cadre,” Vijayvargiya said. “They kept on denying us permission for Shah’s chopper. Later, they also denied us permission to hold the rally. This is not only undemocratic but also shows the TMC’s authoritarian mindset.”

Meanwhile, Shah claimed the state government fears defeat in the Lok Sabha elections at the hands of his party. “Mamata didi, no matter what you do, West Bengal’s public has decided do defeat the Trinamool Congress,” he added.

Soon after the rally was cancelled, clashes broke out between workers of the two parties in Baruipur region. State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh accused Trinamool Congress workers of assaulting members of his party. “TMC activists were taunting our party men over the cancellation of the rally,” Ghosh said. “When our party workers protested, they were beaten up by the ruling party cadres.”

An unidentified Trinamool official, however, denied Ghosh’s allegation and accused the BJP workers of damaging one of its local offices.

BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had replaced democracy with her dictatorship, PTI reported. “This is murder of democracy. The Election Commission should take cognisance of the matter,” he told reporters at a press conference. “If important leaders are not allowed to hold rallies then what is the meaning of elections.”

In January, the BJP had claimed that the West Bengal government had denied permission for Shah’s helicopter to land in Malda for a political meeting. Banerjee had said authorities could not grant permission to the BJP chief to land in Malda airport because of security concerns and accused the BJP of making false claims.