The Calcutta High Court today allowed the BJP to hold “rath yatra” rallies in West Bengal. The saffron party had filed a petition challenging the state government’s denial of permission for the rallies.
The BJP had planned three rallies — one from Cooch Behar, in the northern part of the state — and two others from Kakdwip, in the extreme southern part, and Tarapith temple in Birbhum district.
Taken together, the three yatras would cover all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bengal – one of the few non-BJP states.
BJP chief Amit Shah — who set the party a target of 22 seats in next year’s national elections — said permission for the yatras were refused as Ms Banerjee was “terrified” that the party would expand its influence in the state. The BJP chief also warned that “nobody can stop rath yatras in the state”.
Ms Banerjee’s close aide and Trinamool Congress lawmaker Derek O’Brien yesterday ridiculed the ambitions of the BJP, which currently has only two seats in the state.
“PM and Amit Shah all about jumlas (political rhetoric). Jumlas on jobs, doubling farm incomes. New jumla today, that they would win over 20 seats in Bengal,” Mr O’Brien said.