- BJP chief JP Nadda will falg off party’s rath yatra in Bengal tomorrow
- Trinamool said it will hold a two-day janasamarthan yatra
- State government has not denied permission to any Yatra: Trinamool
The BJP’s rath yatra in West Bengal, to be flagged off by party chief JP Nadda tomorrow, has run into a controversy. Not because permission has been denied, but because it has been granted. The Trinamool Youth Congress in Nadia district, where the BJP’s parivartan rath yatra is to roll, has announced they too will hold a two-day janasamarthan yatra starting tomorrow with thousands of motorcycles crisscrossing the district.
“GoWB has not denied permission to any Yatra, as claimed by @BJP4Bengal They are indulging in malicious propaganda with neither substance nor truth. BJP must show material evidence of GoWB denying permission to their Yatra. This is BJP’s attempt to claim victimhood,” the Trinamool Congress tweeted.
GoWB has not denied permission to any Yatra, as claimed by @BJP4Bengal. They are indulging in malicious propaganda with neither substance nor truth.
BJP must show material evidence of GoWB denying permission to their Yatra. This is BJP’s attempt to claim victimhood. (1/2)
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) February 5, 2021
“A BJP functionary had sought permission from Chief Secy, whose office directed them to local authorities. Meanwhile, a PIL was also filed regarding the same in the High Court & the matter is now sub judice. We thereby clarify that AITC has nothing to do with this issue,” the party said.
The Nadia district police chief has not denied permission for the BJP’s event, but has written to the party seeking details about arrangements to receive Mr Nadda, who has “Z” category protection.
The police also wants details of the rath yatra’s destination, route, overnight halts, boarding and lodging arrangements. It asked the BJP to ensure COVID-19 safety rules are followed.
West Bengal BJP general secretary Pratap Banerjee, however, said his party never sought permission for the rath yatras, but only asked the authorities about its political programme. The police needs to make arrangements to ensure law and order during the yatras, Mr Banerjee said.
The Trinamool Congress will hold a motorcycle rally in the weekend in Nadia district, with thousands of motorcycles to be driven across the district at the same time as the BJP’s rath yatra. It is not clear yet whether the routes will cross at any point.
“Our parivartan yatra will be the antim (last) yatra for TMC. Last time we had gone to court for permission. This time TMC has gone to court first. We tried to hold ‘save democracy’ in the past but they stopped us. Let’s see what happens this time,” West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.
The assembly election in Bengal is essentially a two-party fight between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress – or, as some analysts are pitching it, a two-personality fight between BJP chief Amit Shah and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.