Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for a ‘rath yatra’ in Coochbehar on December 7. The decision came after the Mamata Banerjee- led West Bengal government refused to allow the event on the grounds that it might cause communal tension.
After the Calcutta HC’s order, the BJP decided to move a division bench of the court requesting a go-ahead to its ‘rath yatra’. Reacting to the court order, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “We have full respect for the judiciary. We have decided to move to a division bench of the Calcutta High Court requesting the court to grant us permission for the rath yatra.”
Directing that the rally stands deferred till the next date of hearing on January 9, Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty observed that the prayer of BJP for permission to hold the ‘rath yatra’, scheduled to be flagged off by party national president Amit Shah, cannot be granted at this stage.
The court directed that superintendents of police of all districts in West Bengal will file a report by December 21 to it on the holding of ‘rath yatra’ rallies by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after hearing all the district presidents of the party.
The BJP was scheduled to hold three ‘rath yatras’ that will start from different parts and traverse all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies. It had moved the court seeking a direction to the state government for giving permission for its rallies after its applications allegedly went unanswered.
The BJP campaign was scheduled to begin from Cooch Behar district in the north on December 7, from Kakdwip in the South 24 Parganas district on December 9, and from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14.