Kolkata, December 7: Agitated with the denial of permission to conduct "rath yatra" in West Bengal, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah launched a tirade against the Mamata Banerjee-led government, accusing the Chief Minister of "trampling democracy" in the state. Despite the rath yatra being postponed, Shah would be visiting Kolkata tomorrow to address the BJP workers.
The war of words between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP erupted after the latter was denied permission by the state government to launch a 40-day rath yatra, scheduled to begin from today in Cooch Behar. Calcutta High Court Accepts BJP's Appeal Against Order Banning Party's 'Rath Yatra' in Bengal Till Jan 9.
The matter reached the Calcutta High Court on Thursday, which refrained to overturn the administration's decision. The single-judge bench led by Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty said the yatra should be postponed till at least January 9 -- as it has ordered SPs of all districts to submit a report on whether the procession could stoke communal tensions.
"We have moved a plea against the (High Court's) decision. It has been taken up for hearing. Even if we don't get interim relief, the yatra will be held later. It has not been cancelled, but only postponed," Shah said.
The BJP chief accused Mamata of setting a "dangerous precedent" by denying political space to the Opposition. In a democracy, he added, the non-ruling parties must not be forced to approach the judiciary for seeking permission for their activities.
"A democratic process has been suppressed in West Bengal, with the misuse of power. The CM is following this trend. This is non-democratic," he said, adding that similar obstructions were laid before the BJP ahead of the Ram Navami celebrations.
On being asked by reporters whether the rath yatra could stoke communal violence, Shah said his party would ensure that the state of harmony is not vitiated. On the contrary, he accused the West Bengal police of stoking tensions on behest of the state government. "They want to appease the minorities. The police is not allowed to act freely," he alleged.