The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has written a letter to the West Bengal government seeking permission to hold five ‘Rath Yatras’ in the poll-bound state in February and March.
Party sources said Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda are likely to attend.
“As of now, we want Amit Shah to steer the ‘Rath Yatra’ at Coochbehar and as far as JP Nadda is concerned, it is yet to be decided in which ‘Rath Yatra’ he will participate,” a senior BJP leader said.
State BJP vice president Pratap Banerjee has written to State Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay seeking to discuss the modalities and coordination with the state and the local administration towards the peaceful conduct of the program, party sources said.
“Each 'yatra' will include the 'rath' passing through a designated route and several political rallies. There will be five segments of the 'yatra' covering all the assembly constituencies of West Bengal. Each 'yatra' will include a 'rath' and will run simultaneously in different segments/territories of the State. The duration of each 'yatra' would be approximately 20-25 days,” Pratap Banerjee’s letter to the chief secretary reads.
It was learnt that the first 'yatra' (covering Nadia, Murshidabad and parts of North 24-Parganas) will start from Nabadwip town in Nadia district on February 6 and it will end at Barrackpore in North 24-Parganas district.
The second 'rath yatra' (covering Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Alipurduar, Coochbehar and Malda) will start from Coochbehar Town on February 8 and it will end at Malda Town.
The third 'rath yatra' (covering Kolkata and South 24-Parganas) will start from Kakdwip on February 8 and it will end at Kolkata.
The fourth 'rath yatra' (covering Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Jhargram) will start from Jhargram on February 9 and it will end at Belur (Howrah).
The fifth 'rath yatra' (covering Burdwan, Asansol, Birbhum, Purulia and Bankura) will start from Tarapith in Birbhum on February 9 and it will end at Purulia Town.
His letter further reads, “We would like to draw your attention that 'padayatra' and 'rath yatra' programs have been carried out by several political parties since independence as a valid program for mass contact.”
BJP leader and in-charge of Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya, said, “Yes, we are planning to hold ‘rath yatras’ and we are hopeful that the state government will give us permission to hold the ‘rath yatras’.”