AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed the Mamata Banerjee administration for refusing persmission to hold an election rally in Kolkata. Owaisi asked when permission can be granted to the BJP and TMC leaders for organising rallies, why cannot he hold a rally in the state.
"TMC MPs speak about freedom of expression, constitution, dissent in Parliament. But they have two faces, they say one thing in Delhi and do just the opposite in Bengal. If I want to conduct a public meeting there, then why am I not being permitted?" Owaisi sought to know.
"Model Code of Conduct has not come into effect now. If they're refusing to give us permission even before that, how will election be free & fair? Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda can hold a rally, Congress, CPM, TMC can hold a rally. Why can't we?" he asked.
Owaisi's first rally in Kolkata was scheduled to be held on Thursday. But he has to cancel it after the city police denied permission. According to AIMIM, Owaisi was scheduled to kick off the party's campaign ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections with the rally in the minority-dominated Metiabruz area of the city.
AIMIM state secretary Zameerul Hasan said the police did not give them permission for the rally. "We had applied 10 days back for permission. But we were informed by the police that they will not permit us to hold the rally. We can't be cowed down by such tactics of the ruling TMC. We will discuss and soon announce a fresh date for a programme," Hasan said.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are likely to be held in April-May.