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Govt Auditorium Withdraws Nod for RSS Chief Bhagwat's Event in Kolkata

While the Mahajati Sadan auditorium had agreed to host the event on October 3, and the organizers had taken prior permission for the Mohan Bhagwat event, authorities cited renovation work to cancel the same.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:September 5, 2017, 7:48 PM IST
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Govt Auditorium Withdraws Nod for RSS Chief Bhagwat's Event in Kolkata
File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Kolkata: Authorities at Mahajati Sadan — a prominent auditorium in Kolkata, run by the West Bengal government — have denied permission to hold an event on October 3, where the main speaker was Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat.

While the auditorium had agreed to host the event in October, and the organizers, Sister Nivedita Mission Trust had taken prior permission, authorities cited renovation work to cancel the event.

Besides other delegates, Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and Bhagwat were also supposed to attend the event for a panel discussion on Sister Nivedita’s role in India’s nationalist movement.

Speaking to News18, Rantideb Sengupta, general secretary of the trust said, “Initially they agreed to rent the auditorium and we even paid the booking amount. But later on they asked us to bring a no-objection certificate from the Kolkata Police. We told them that we will submit the required certificate within two days, but last Thursday they told me that there are some pending renovation work and PWD has asked them not to accept any further bookings.”

He said, “We are a non-political organization but we smell conspiracy behind this move. The theme of the event was nationalist movement, so we had invited Mohan Bhagwat Ji to speak. We never thought that his name will create so much of controversy.”

However, Mahajati Sadan secretary, Nurul Huda rubbished all allegations. He said, “There is some miscommunication. They are not the only one whose booking has been cancelled. There are other organizations who wanted to book the auditorium in October, but we refused citing renovation work.”

Huda further added, “Apart from the booking of Sister Nivedita Mission Trust, we have also cancelled the bookings of Antara Dance School, Agrahari Samaj and Seth Anandram Jaipuria College (affiliated to University of Calcutta). When they haven’t created a hue and cry about it, why does the Sister Nivedita Mission Trust think that there is some conspiracy against them?”

Speaking on the kind of renovation work that is required, Huda clarified that the auditorium needs some urgent repairing work on the stage, ceiling, sound system and air conditioning.

He added, “We can’t allow anyone to hold an event without doing these first. So many VVIPs will be there, who will take the responsibility in case of a mishap.”

Jishnu Basu, RSS's general secretary in South Bengal said, “This is not the first time when the Bengal government has tried to prevent Bhagwat Ji from addressing an event. Earlier, the Kolkata Police had denied permission for his rally but the High Court ruled against it. We think the auditorium deliberately did not grant us the permission.”

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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