In a blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the West Bengal government on Saturday denied permission to the saffron parfty hold the 'Rath Yatra' in the state.
A division bench of the Calcutta High Court had on December 7 directed the state's chief secretary, the home secretary and the director general of police (DGP) to hold a meeting with three representatives of the BJP by December 12, and take a decision on the matter by December 14.
In a letter addressed to the Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh, the letter reads, “The areas proposed to be covered by the Yatra are, because of publicity and propaganda gradually turning into communally sensitive pockets. Intelligence reports indicate that public perception is that the religious overtones of the Yatra will be turned into a propaganda.”
The state government in its letter has blamed that the other right-wing organisations such as the RSS, VHP and the Bajrang Dal may join the 'Yatra' and disrupt peace and lead to communal tension in the areas where the 'Yatra' will pass through.
The letter further states, “Intelligence reports further indicate that in several districts, organisations with overtly communal agenda like the RSS, Bajrang Dal and the VHP would actively join the 'Yatra'. This is grave apprehension of ‘breach of peace’ and communal violence during and in the aftermath of the Yatra.”
Furthermore, the state has said it is not in a position to provide police personnel because of the festivals in the state around the same time.
The state BJP chief has said that they will once again knock the doors of the court on Monday and seek it’s intervention.
“The ruling TMC is not allowing any opposition party to function in the state. There is no democracy in the state. We will discuss this situation with our lawyers tomorrow i.e. Sunday and move court on Monday,” said Ghosh.
However, as far as the public meetings that were to be held in the course of the Yatra is concerned, the state has said that the district Superintendents of Police will decide whether permission can be granted or not.