Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Monday challenged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to arrest him for chanting “Jai Shri Ram”. Addressing a rally in Canning, which falls under the Joynagar Lok Sabha constituency, Shah said, “Mamatadi gets angry if someone chants Jai Shri Ram. I am chanting Jai Shri Ram here today. If you [Mamata Banerjee] have the guts, arrest me. I will be in Kolkata tomorrow.”

The BJP chief claimed that Banerjee can stop him from attending rallies in West Bengal, but will not be able to stop the saffron party’s victory in the state. Shah said the TMC government was “visibly perplexed”.

Earlier in the day, the BJP claimed that the West Bengal government had not given permission for Shah’s rally in Jadavpur. BJP media head and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said permission for Shah’s helicopter to land was also withdrawn. Shah was scheduled to address rallies in Jayanagar, Jadavpur and Barasat constituencies in West Bengal on Monday. The three constituencies will vote in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 19.

The BJP will stage protests and approach the Election Commission, said Baluni. He accused the poll panel of becoming a “mute spectator” to Trinamool Congress’s undemocratic ways targeting the BJP.

Shah alleged that the TMC government in the state was run by extortionist syndicates – an allegation levelled by Narendra Modi earlier. The allegation stoked controversy with Banerjee saying Modi should get a “tight slap of democracy”.

Shah alleged that permission was denied for Durga Puja during Banerjee’s tenure. Shah said the BJP will ensure that Durga Puja is held without any hassle once if comes to power.

The BJP chief also alleged that the only factories that have come up in Bengal during Banerjee’s tenure were those meant to make bombs. Going back to the party’s agenda of national security, Shah claimed it could only be ensured under Modi’s leadership.

Reiterating himself, Shah said the BJP government will throw out “every infiltrator” from Bengal. Shah, who compared undocumented immigrants to termites, promised that his party will implement the National Register of Citizens in Assam. “We will bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to ensure that eligible refugees get citizenship,” he added.