Udayavni Special

BJP’s ‘Rath Yatra’ gets Calcutta High Court nod


Team Udayavani, Dec 21, 2018, 8:53 AM IST

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday allowed BJP’s ‘rath yatra’ programme in West Bengal, setting aside the state government’s decision to refuse permission for the rallies over apprehensions of communal unrest.

Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty in his order noted that courts can interfere if administrative authorities exercise their discretionary powers in a whimsical manner.

The court directed the police to deploy adequate force to ensure that there was no breach of law and order and said the petitioner BJP will be vicariously responsible for any damage or loss of public property.

Following the court order, the BJP came up with tentative new dates from December 28 to 31 for its proposed three-phase programme.

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that though the dates have not been finalised, the rath yatra, which is now christened the ‘Ganatantra Bachao Yatra’ (Save Democracy Rally), will be held as per its earlier schedule and move across all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

“We welcome the court’s verdict… Today we had a meeting with the party functionaries. The tentative new dates (for the Rath Yatra) are December 28, 29 and 31. Nothing has been finalised as of now. We will inform the state government about it,” Mr Vijayvargiya said.

According to sources, party national president Amit Shah will flag off the three yatras in the state.

Welcoming the order, the BJP hit out the ruling Trinamul for denying permission for its rallies and also questioned the “silence” of opposition on the issue.

“Why are human rights activists and Opposition parties silent on denial of a right to a political party to organise its programme in West Bengal. If any NDA/BJP Government had stopped an opposition programme, it would have been called an Undeclared Emergency. Why silence now,?” BJP leader  Arun Jaitley tweeted.

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh hailed the HC order and said that the programme will begin “very soon” and will be held according to “schedule”.

Ghosh said, “We thank the court for its verdict. It is a historic one. The Gantantra Bachao Yatra will start very soon and will be held as per schedule.” “I can assure that there will be no breach of law and order from our part,” he added.

Reacting to Bharatiya Janata Party’s programme, the ruling TMC said that it was being held to ignite communal passions in the state before the Lok Sabha election. “The sole intention of Bharatiya Janata Party is to create communal tensions in the state to divide the people on religious lines,” Trinamul secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.

The West Bengal government had on Saturday refused permission for BJP’s ‘Rath Yatra’, citing intelligence reports of possible communal violence in areas where the party was planning to take out the rallies.

Justice Chakraborty directed the BJP to inform the superintendents of police of the districts in which rallies shall enter 12 hours ahead of schedule.

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