BJP Sticks to Rath Yatra Programme, Says Will Wait for Govt Nod on Dates
The 'rath yatra', touted as a 'save democracy' programme, was scheduled to start on December 7 from Coochbehar but could not as the state government denied permission on grounds that it might cause communal tension.
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Kolkata: The BJP on Thursday said it will stick to its 'rath yatra' programme in West Bengal but will launch it only after hearing from the state government on the new dates.
The BJP held a meeting with Chief Secretary Malay Dey, Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya and state Director General of Police Virendra during the day as directed by the Calcutta High Court.
After the meeting at the Lalbazar police headquarters here, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, "We informed the state government that we want to organise our programme the way it was scheduled. Only the dates will be changed."
The 'rath yatra', touted as a "save democracy" programme, was scheduled to start on December 7 from Coochbehar but could not as the state government denied permission on grounds that it might cause communal tension.
"The programme will start the day the state government give us permission. The government representatives listened to us and said they will inform us at an appropriate time," Ghosh said.
Apart from Ghosh, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and senior leader Mukul Roy were also present at the meeting.
The 'rath yatra' in Coochbehar was slated to be the first of three by the BJP before the Lok Sabha polls next year. The other two were scheduled to be held on December 9 from Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district and on December 14, from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district.
The 'rath yatras' were supposed to cover all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state.
A Calcutta High Court division bench of justices Biswanath Somadder and A Mukherjee disposed of an appeal by the BJP against a single bench order on December 6 that refused permission for its 'rath yatra' and directed the state to hold the meeting by Wednesday.
The bench had directed the chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police to hold a meeting with three representatives of the BJP by December 12 and take a decision on the matter by December 14.
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