The BJP leadership Thursday came up with tentative new dates from December 28 to 31 for its proposed three-phase 'Rath Yatra' programme in West Bengal after the Calcutta High Court gave its nod to it, setting aside the state government's objections.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that though the dates have not been finalised, the Rath Yatra, which is now christened the 'Ganatantra Bachao Yatra' (Save Democracy Rally), will be held as per its earlier schedule and move across all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
"We welcome the court's verdict... Today we had a meeting with the party functionaries. The tentative new dates (for the Rath Yatra) are December 28, 29 and 31. Nothing has been finalised as of now. We will inform the state government about it," Vijayvargiya said.
According to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources, party national president Amit Shah will flag off the three yatras.
The Calcutta High Court during the day allowed the BJP's Rath Yatra programme and set aside the state government's decision to refuse permission for the rallies over apprehensions of communal unrest, saying courts can interfere if administrative authorities exercise their discretionary powers in a whimsical manner.
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh hailed the HC order and said that the programme will begin "very soon" and will be held according to "schedule".
Ghosh said, "We thank the court for its verdict. It is a historic one. The Gantantra Bachao Yatra will start very soon and will be held as per schedule."
Reacting to BJP's programme, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) said that the rallies were being held to ignite communal passions in the state before the Lok Sabha election.
"The sole intention of BJP is to create communal tensions in the state to divide the people on religious lines," TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.
The West Bengal government had on Saturday refused permission for the rallies, citing intelligence reports of possible communal violence in areas where the party was planning to take out the yatras.
Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty in his order directed the state BJP to inform the superintendents of police of the districts in which the rallies shall enter at least 12 hours ahead of schedule.
The court also told the state BJP to ensure that the yatras follow the law and do not impede normal movement of vehicular traffic.