Calcutta HC Admits BJP Appeal Against Order Refusing Permission For Rath Yatra in Bengal

File photo of BJP president Amit Shah.

File photo of BJP president Amit Shah.

The party’s West Bengal chief, Dilip Ghosh, told News18 that Shah will perform a puja at the famous Madan Mohan Thakur Bari around 10 am and will then address supporters at Jhingaidanga.


Sujit Nath

Kolkata: A Calcutta High Court division bench on Friday accepted the BJP’s appeal against Thursday’s single bench order refusing permission to hold a rath yatra in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal over fears it may stoke communal tensions.

The division bench of Justices Biswanath Samadar and Arindam Mukerjee will hear the case at 12:30 pm. The single judge bench had put on hold Friday’s rath yatra in Cooch Behar and all subsequent rallies till the next hearing on January 9.

The party’s state chief, Dilip Ghosh, had earlier told News18 that Amit Shah would perform a puja at the famous Madan Mohan Thakur Bari around 10 am and will then address supporters at Jhingaidanga, despite the HC order. But that plan has now been put on hold.

He reasoned that holding the public meeting would not fall afoul of the HC’s orders as it had denied permission only for a rally, adding that the venue for Shah’s address was a private property that belongs to a BJP worker, Chinu Kundu. “No one can save the TMC now,” he had asserted.

The party has challenged the single-bench order of the Calcutta HC before a division bench. “Our next course of action will depend on the outcome of hearing,” Ghosh said.

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that if required, the party will approach the Supreme Court to hold a ‘Save Democracy Yatra’ in Bengal.

On Thursday night, state BJP general secretary Raju Banerjee supervised the preparation for Shah’s address.

“Our party president has decided that Amit ji’s public meet will be as per schedule. Therefore, I personally supervised the arrangements. We are expecting large number of people because they are fed up with the ruling TMC government in Bengal,” he said.

On Thursday, BJP suffered a major setback after the Calcutta High Court denied permission to hold a ‘rath yatra’ till the next date of hearing on January 9.

Citing the District Intelligence Branch’s (DIB) inputs, the Mamata Banerjee government had informed the Calcutta High Court Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty that the ‘rath yatra’ may cause communal tension as Cooch Behar district has a history of such clashes.

During the hearing, BJP counsel Anindya Mitra had assured that it will hold peaceful yatras. However, he also stressed that law and order responsibility lies with the state government.

The BJP had scheduled the Rath Yatra with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Three air-conditioned buses decorated as chariots were to carry BJP leaders and the yatra was supposed to cover all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. BJP is targeting at least 22 parliamentary seats out of 42 in Bengal. The party presently has two Lok Sabha seats - Asansol and Darjeeling - in the state.

Next Story