Seeking permission to hold a demonstration at the same spot where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on a protest against the centre recently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has written to the Kolkata police. The letter was also followed by an email to the state police, which sought permission to hold a "Save Democracy" sit-in at Metro Y Channel demanding "restoration of democracy" in the state.
Commenting on the communication, state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said, "We have sought permission to hold the three-day sit-in on Metro Y Channel from February 21-23. We have promised not to use loudspeakers or mikes as there is a bar on their use because of the ongoing Madhyamik (Secondary) examination (being conducted by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education)."
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About two years after coming to power, the Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government banned protests at Metro Y Channel arguing that the protests in the city hub badly disrupt traffic.
"We know about the ban. But Mamata Banerjee herself defied the ban by holing the sit-in. So, as a political party, we should also be given the same opportunity. We would also like to hold a sit-in there," said Basu.
Police, on the other hand, said they were yet to receive any application for permission to hold the sit-in from the BJP. "Once we receive it, we will take a decision," said an officer at the city police headquarters Lalbazar.
Banerjee had held a 45-hour sit-in at the Metro Y Channel from 9 pm on February 1 following an ugly face-off between the city police and the Central Bureau of Investigation, when the latter tried to quiz police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the Ponzi scheme scam.
Meanwhile, Banerjee arrived in New Delhi late on Tuesday to take part in a mega rally of non-BJP parties convened by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday. AAP's 'Tanashahi Hatao, Desh Bachao' (Remove Dictatorship, Save Country) rally will be organised at Jantar Mantar and all parties which had attended the January 19 mega opposition rally called by Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata are likely to attend the gathering.
With the saffron party making West Bengal - where they have been traditionally weak - a focus state, the political temperatures have been soaring in Bengal.
The BJP, which emerged as the main challenger to Trinamool in recent polls, is making a determined bid to increase its tally of seats from the state that sends 42 representatives to the lower House of parliament.
It had secured only two Lok Sabha seats in Bengal in 2014.
(With agency inputs)