Denied permission for Rath Yatra in West Bengal by the state government and the Calcutta High Court, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has now decided to organise a ‘pad yatra’ across the state. While the BJP is still awaiting a final order from the court, it has said that ‘pad yatra’ will be organised in all districts of West Bengal till the nod is given for rath yatra.
The ‘pad yatras’ will commence from the first week of January. The initially-planned rath yatra was slated to be spearheaded by BJP president Amit Shah, and planned to commence from Cooch Behar district.
Earlier this month, the Calcutta High Court had denied permission to the BJP for the rath yatra, scheduling the next date of hearing on January 9, 2019.
The West Bengal government had denied permission for the rally on ground that it might cause communal tensions. The state’s advocate general had informed the High Court about the decision of the government.
The government had informed the High Court that Cooch Behar superintendent of police had also refused permission for the rally, citing that the region was communally sensitive.
Stating that refusal of permission was an administrative decision in view of the ground situation, the AG said that details of apprehension cannot be spelt out in open court due to its sensitive nature and he can submit these to the court in a sealed cover, if directed.
The BJP, which moved the court seeking direction to the state government for giving permission for its three rallies, told the bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty that it will hold peaceful yatras.
Asked by the judge as to who will take responsibility if anything untoward happens, BJP counsel Anindya Mitra submitted that the party will hold a peaceful rally, but that it was the duty of the state government to maintain law and order.
Mitra submitted that the Constitution guarantees the right to hold political programmes.
(With PTI Inputs)