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Wait for ‘Surgical Strike 2.0’: Dilip Ghosh’s Response to TMC’s Alleged Strategy of Blocking BJP Rallies

Angry over non-cooperation of West Bengal administration for BJP rallies, Ghosh said the TMC should wait for ‘surgical strike part 2’ that will come on the day of Lok Sabha election results.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:January 31, 2019, 8:04 PM IST
Dilip Ghosh
File photo of West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh.

Kolkata: The blame game over the alleged non-cooperation of West Bengal administration in granting permission for BJP’s public rallies took an ugly turn on Thursday after the state BJP claimed that police pilot cars for BJP leaders – mandatory as per protocol – are reaching late intentionally to spoil their scheduled public meetings across the state.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said the Mamata Banerjee-led government in the state will get an apt response on the day Lok Sabha poll results are announced. “TMC has started this (creating hurdles) and we have decided to take our complaint to the union home minister and Election Commission. If TMC leaders think they can get away with this political strategy, they are mistaken. They should wait for the ‘surgical strike part 2’ that will come on the day of Lok Sabha election results,” said Dilip Ghosh, BJP state president.

Ghosh alleged that he, too, was not allowed by the local administration to hold a scheduled meeting in Naihati and had to change the venue. “TMC is acting like an immature party. It is digging its own grave because people are coming in large numbers out of curiosity to see why the TMC is blocking our public meetings.”

“The political discourse has touched new low now as the TMC is preventing our ministers from holding mass rallies. They are creating problems in every rally,” Ghosh added.

Speaking to News18, Jay Prakash Majumdar, BJP vice-president in West Bengal, said, “We are facing this problem since 2017. Whenever we plan public rallies or meetings, the Mamata Banerjee government creates obstructions. Her administrative officials are creating procedural hurdles this time also.”

“Right from not issuing NOC for helicopter landing and restricting loudspeaker use to not granting permission for public ground for rallies, Mamata Banerjee has formed a separate anti-BJP department to prevent us from connecting with the masses. Not a single rally was allowed without us getting harassed. Every time we were forced to knock on the court’s door. We are managing these events on private lands somehow,” Majumdar said.

The BJP's state vice-president said they never faced such autocracy before, ‘not even during the Left Front regime’. “Mamata is purposely blocking the stadiums and fields to prevent the BJP from holding mass meetings. This is their planned political strategy. Pilots are intentionally coming late to escort the BJP ministers. This happened also with our union minister Smriti Irani. Pilot came late and she had to cancel her event at Jhargram recently,” he added.

However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rubbished the allegations, saying in the past even her helicopter was not allowed to land at a certain point due to security reasons. “Police had said the helicopter should land at some other place due to security reasons. I also change my chopper’s landing on request from police. We believe in democracy and the BJP is distorting facts,” she said.

The battle over political space and creating procedural hurdles is nothing new in Bengal but this is probably for the first time when the Opposition BJP has decided to make it an election issue.

Ever since BJP chief Amit Shah sounded the poll bugle with ‘Ebar Bangla’ mission in 2016 – which he announced during a public meet in Howrah – the ruling TMC and the saffron brigade have been at loggerheads.

In 2017, Mahajati Sadan, an auditorium run by the West Bengal government, denied permission to hold an event by Sister Nivedita Mission Trust which had RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as its key speaker. Shah’s scheduled program at Netaji Indoor Stadium in September 2017 was also cancelled.

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| Edited by: Divya Kapoor
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