The West Bengal government has denied permission to the BJP to hold a rally of party president Amit Shah in Kolkata on August 11, a TV report said. The denial of permission for holding a public meeting comes in the midst of an ongoing face-off between the BJP and opposition in the wake of the release of National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft in Assam which eliminated around 40 lakh names out of 3.29 crore citizens.
According to BJP’s West Bengal Youth Morcha president Debjit Sarkar, he had submitted an application with the Kolkata Police in which he earmarked five places in the city as potential venues for August 11 rally. The BJP had zeroed in on Victoria House, Mayo Road, Dorina Crossing, Metro Channel and Shyambazar.
On Monday, the BJP had claimed that it was denied permission by the Kolkata Police to hold Shah’s rally in Rani Rashmoni Avenue. Contradicting this, the police said that it had received no application from the BJP seeking permission for a rally.
A report in The Indian Express said that since the Congress has already sought permission to hold a rally at the same venue on the same day, the police can’t give go-ahead to the BJP.
This will be Amit Shah’s first visit to the state post-release of the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft in Assam. It is expected that Shah will speak on the NRC issue to dispel the apprehensions over the release of the final draft that has become a fresh bone of contention between the ruling BJP and opposition parties including the Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee.
Shah had last visited the state in June. Addressing a gathering, he had lashed out at the Mamata Banerjee government for “unleashing violence on political rivals”. The BJP has set a target of winning 22 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state when the country goes to polls next year.