New Delhi: The Supreme Court would hear on January 8 the BJP’s appeal against the Calcutta High Court order of stopping it from holding yatras in West Bengal.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had declined to accord an urgent hearing on the party’s plea. The BJP’s West Bengal unit had sought permission to hold the campaign ‘Save Democracy Rally’, which would cover 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections. As an interim relief, it also sought an ex-parte stay on the operation of the December 21 order of the high court.

It had challenged the December 21 order of a division bench of the high court which had set aside the order of a single judge allowing the yatra. In the plea, the BJP said their fundamental right to hold a peaceful yatra cannot be withheld.

The high court’s division bench had sent the case back to the single judge to hear it afresh and also to consider intelligence inputs by state agencies. The order of the division bench had come after hearing an appeal moved by the West Bengal government challenging the order of the single judge.

The rallies, according to the original schedule, were to be flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah from Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on Decemebr 7, Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas on December 9 and from Tarapith temple in Birbhum on December 14. In the plea filed in the apex court, the BJP’s West Bengal unit contended that authorities cannot abridge their right and they have a duty to facilitate them in exercising their democratic right.

Meanwhile, the party’s state unit is planning two-three rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January and February. Ahead of the national polls, the party planned the ‘Rath Yatras’ that would have touched all 42 constituencies in the state. However, it got stuck in legal battles after the state government denied permission.

“We are hopeful that prime minister’s first rally might take place on January 29. We have sent the schedule to Delhi. Nothing has, however, been fixed so far,” state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.

The Prime Minister’s first rally is expected to be held at the Brigade Parade ground in the heart of the city. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also hold a rally at the same venue on January 19 and has invited leaders of all Opposition parties in the country.