Rath Yatra

West Bengal, Feb 6: Refuting the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) allegations that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal has denied permission to hold a rath yatra from Nadia district, the TMC said on Twitter that the party was indulging in “malicious propaganda“.

“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.

“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.

BJP party president JP Nadda is set to flag off the parivartan (change) rath yatra from Nadia on Saturday. However, the Trinamool Youth Congress in the district has announced that it would also hold a janasamarthan (people’s support) yatra on motorcycles tomorrow, media reported. It is not clear whether the two processions will meet at any point.

According to the report, Nadia district police top boss has granted BJP permission. The police chief, in fact, has sought details about Nadda’s reception since he enjoys ‘Z‘ category protection. The police have also asked for other details of the yatra like its route, destination, halts and lodging arrangements and asked the party to ensure Covid-19 safety.

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West Bengal BJP general secretary Pratap Banerjee has said that the party only asked district authorities about its political programme and did not seek permission for rath yatras. Meanwhile, the state’s BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said that the party’s parivartan yatra will be the antim (last) yatra for TMC.

Nadda will inaugurate the party’s ‘Poribartan Yatra‘ at Nadia as it steps up its campaign to end the Trinamool Congress’ 10-year-old reign in the state. The party said in a statement that the yatra will be in five phases and cover all the 294 assembly constituencies.

A PIL was filed before the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday, praying for its interference to prevent the BJP’s planned ‘rath yatra‘ across West Bengal, claiming that it would impact the COVID-19 situation and law and order in the state. The BJP has sought permission from the state government for its month-long ‘rath yatra’ ahead of the assembly elections, which is due in April-May.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh had on Thursday said the rath yatra was part of the party’s outreach programme ahead of the polls and alleged that the TMC was trying to create obstacles but will not succeed.

Ghosh also said the party will go as per law. Earlier, in 2018, the BJP had planned rath yatra across Bengal, but the programme was called off at the very last moment as the state government refused to give permission.