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1-min read

Denied Permission, Bengal BJP Forced to Shift PM Modi’s Public Rally Venue in Siliguri

This is not the first time the BJP has accused the TMC government of denying permission to hold public meetings in West Bengal.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:March 31, 2019, 11:38 PM IST
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Denied Permission, Bengal BJP Forced to Shift PM Modi’s Public Rally Venue in Siliguri
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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Kolkata: The venue for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public rally on April 3 in Siliguri had to be changed at the last minute, allegedly because the West Bengal government denied permission for the location sought by the BJP. The new venue will now be a ground belonging to the Indian Railways, adjacent to the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station.

This is not the first time the BJP has accused the TMC government of denying permission to hold public meetings and the landing of helicopters of BJP chief ministers and union ministers.

“We wanted to hold Prime Minister’s public meeting in the Kawakhali Ground, which belongs to Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA). Unfortunately, the local administration refused to give us permission. The ruling party is misusing its power to create hurdles before us,” Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh told News18.

“We have now decided to make all arrangements at a land that belongs to the Indian Railways close to Jalpaiguri Railway Station. We are expecting a large number of people to turn up,” Ghosh added.

Modi will be addressing two back-to-back rallies in Siliguri and in Kolkata’s iconic Brigade Parade Ground.

Avijit Roy Chowdhury, BJP’s Darjeeling district president, said the party had requested for the SJDA land from the local administration on March 27. “Initially, they didn't respond to our request. At the last moment, they denied permission verbally. They are intentionally harassing us. They also created problems during public meetings by our party leaders Amit Shah (in Malda), Yogi Adityanath (in Purulia), Rajnath Singh and Biplab Deb.”

In February, too, Modi’s rally venue was changed at Thakurnagar in Bongaon Lok Sabha constituency due to security reasons. Mismanagement had marred that public meet and he had to cut short his speech among the Matua community after sensing a stampede-like situation.

Presently, the BJP has two Lok Sabha seats from Bengal, including Asansol and Darjeeling, and it would not like to lose either of the seats, especially when the party president Amit Shah has set the target at 23 seats.
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