In a setback to the BJP, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission for Amit Shah's Rath Yatra that was scheduled to start from Friday.
The High Court fixed January 9 as the next date of hearing in this case
‘Rath Yatra will be game changer in WB politics; will become deciding factor in next general elections’: BJP
Earlier, permission for the proposed 'rath yatra' from Coochbehar was rejected by the West Bengal government, on grounds that it might cause communal tension, the state's advocate general informed the Calcutta High Court on Thursday. Kishore Dutta told the court that the Coochbehar superintendent of police refused permission for the BJP President Amit Shah's rath yatra from Friday.
The state submitted that it might cause communal tension.
It is the duty of the state government to maintain the law and order, submitted BJP counsel Anindya Mitra on being asked by the judge as to who will take responsibility if anything untoward happens.
The advocate general opposed the BJP filing a supplementary affidavit opposing the refusal of permission, saying it can either come with a fresh petition or an amendment to his petition.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had moved the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday, saying it was yet to be given permission for taking out three rallies in West Bengal, scheduled to begin from December 7.
BJP President Amit Shah was scheduled to kickstart the party's "Save Democracy Rally", comprising three "rath yatra", in the state.
The saffron party had claimed before the bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty that several letters sent to the DG-IGP and the home secretary, seeking permission for the three rallies, did not elicit any response.
The BJP campaign was scheduled to begin from Coochbehar district in the north on December 7, from Kakdwip in the South 24 Parganas district on December 9 and from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14.
Advovate General Kishore Dutta had told the court that the DG-IGP or the home secretary was not the competent authority to grant permission for the rallies, which, as a political party, the petitioner (BJP) should have known.
The petitioner should also have known to whom the application should have been sent, he had said.
Following this, the BJP counsel said they had also applied to the SPs of the districts through which the three "rath yatra" were scheduled to pass.
The judge had suggested that the state authorities and the petitioner should sit together and sort out the issue before returning to court.
Dutta then told the court that the three rallies entailed huge security arrangements and he would require instructions from the state government if it could be done at such a short notice.