The Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to move higher court against the West Bengal government's decision to deny permission for its 'rath yatra' and resolved to hit the streets to protest against it.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said party leaders held a meeting with other functionaries and national general secretary Bhupender Yadav on Sunday to discuss their next course of action.
"We will move the higher court against this decision. How can the state government deny us permission for our political programme? We will also launch a statewide agitation in protest and meet Governor K N Tripathi to complain against the TMC government," Ghosh told news agency PTI.
On Saturday, the Mamata Banerjee-led government had refused permission for the proposed 'rath yatra', citing intelligence reports of possible communal violence in areas where the party is planning to take out the rallies.
A division bench of the Calcutta High Court had on December 7 directed Chief Secretary Malay De, Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya and Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra to hold a meeting with three representatives of the BJP and take a decision on the 'yatra'.
Intelligence reports indicated that "in several districts, organisations with overtly communal agenda, such as the RSS, the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, would actively join the yatra. There is a grave apprehension of major breach of peace... During and after the yatra", the state government said in a letter to Ghosh.
BJP president Amit Shah, who had set a target of 22 Lok Sabha seats in the state, was scheduled to flag off three raths from as many places as part of the party's "save democracy" campaign.
The chariots were meant to travel to all 42 parliamentary constituencies over the next one-and-a-half months.
At the conclusion of the 'yatra', the party had planned a massive rally in Kolkata, which was likely to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.