The Calcutta High Court had on Thursday refused permission to the BJP for holding a ‘Rath Yatra’ in Coochbehar, which was to be flagged off by party president Amit Shah on Friday, after the West Bengal government refused to allow the event saying it may cause communal tension.
“If the BJP fails to conduct the proposed Rath Yatra, it would send a wrong message to the rank and file of the party,” news agency PTI quoted party leaders as saying.
The decision led to an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the future course of action after uncertainty loomed over the party’s Rath Yatra programme.
“We are waiting for the court’s verdict. We have also called a meeting of party workers at 2 pm,” said a senior state BJP leader.
.@BJP4India leadership convened an emergency meeting here to discuss the future course of action after uncertainty loomed over the party’s Rath Yatra programme here.#RathYatra #WestBengalhttps://t.co/QGXF36iXUN
— moneycontrol (@moneycontrolcom) December 7, 2018
The emergency meeting that started at around 10:30 am was attended by BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, along with other senior party leaders such as Arvind Menon, Shiv Prakash, Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy.
Party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that BJP is a “responsible political party” and it will obey the court order. “Our entire preparation for the Rath Yatra program is complete. Amit Shah is also ready to come tomorrow,” he told a press conference.
The party’s state president Dilip Ghosh had earlier in the day said that his party has full faith in the judiciary and hoped it would be able to kick-start its Rath Yatra campaign from Friday.
“Whenever we have wanted to take out a rally or conduct a political programme, the state government has tried to stop it either by denying us permission or tried to create procedural hurdles,” he alleged.
The ‘rath yatra’ was a part of the BJP’s election campaign in 42 Lok Sabha constituencies across West Bengal, where the party aims to bag over 22 seats in the general elections next year. The BJP currently has two Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal – Asansol and Darjeeling.