Amit Shah Says BJP Will ‘Legally’ Hold 3 Rallies in Cooch Behar

Amit Shah Says BJP Will ‘Legally’ Hold 3 Rallies in Cooch Behar

India

BJP President Amit Shah said the party will conduct three rallies in Cooch Behar by doing “everything legally.” He said, “We will do everything legally and we will conduct three rallies. The rallies have not been cancelled but postponed. Yatra as scheduled will go to every part of West Bengal. I will go to West Bengal tomorrow (Saturday, 8 December).”

Earlier, the BJP leadership on Friday, 7 December, convened an emergency meeting in Cooch Behar to discuss the future course of action after uncertainty loomed over the party's Rath Yatra programme.

The BJP had decided to put Shah's proposed rally and the Rath Yatra on hold, saying it will wait for the final order from the high court, which will now hear an appeal by the saffron party at 12:30 pm on 7 December.

The emergency meeting that started at around 10:30 am is being 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.

A section of party leaders, who spoke to PTI on the condition of anonymity, said if the BJP fails to conduct the proposed Rath Yatra, it would send a wrong message to the rank and file of the party.

“We are waiting for the court’s verdict. We have also called a meeting of party workers at 2 pm.”

BJP’s Plea To Be Heard

The BJP on Friday, 7 December, moved an appeal before a division bench of the Calcutta High Court against the refusal of permission for its Rath Yatra.

Granting leave to the BJP to file the appeal, a division bench comprising Justices B Somadder and A Mukherjee said it will hear the matter at 12:30 pm.

Also Read : Modi to attend 4 rallies in Bengal during BJP's 'Rath Yatra'

The bench directed BJP's lawyers to serve a copy of the appeal to the West Bengal government and other respondents before the matter is taken up for hearing.

Calcutta Court Denied Permission

A single bench of the High Court had said on Thursday, 6 December, that it cannot grant permission at this stage for the BJP rally in Cooch Behar. The yatra was scheduled to be flagged off by party President Amit Shah on Friday, 7 December, after the West Bengal government refused to allow the event on the grounds that it might cause communal tension.

The court directed the superintendents of police of all districts in West Bengal to file a report by 21 December on the rallies by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after hearing all district presidents of the party.

Directing that the rally stands deferred till the next date of hearing on 9 January, Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty observed that permission to hold the Rath Yatra can't be granted at this stage.

Also Read : Minority forum wants BJP's Bengal 'Rath Yatra' cancelled

(With inputs from PTI)

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