Trinamool Congress-controlled Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) board has decided to allow only the Trinamool Congress to hold public rallies in front of Victoria House on July 21 every year.
KMC will not allow any other political party to hold rally in front of Victoria House on any day of the year, including Trinamool Congress (except for July 21).
“This is our institutional administrative decision based on the historic relevance of the event. We have passed our decision in the mayor-in-Council meeting and would get the approval of the House in January,” mayor Sovan Chatterjee told reporters at his office on Monday.
Similarly, KMC will allow the Forward Bloc to hold a rally blocking Red Road in front of the Netaji statute on Netaji’s birthday. And it would allow the Left Front to hold a rally at Sidhu Kanhu Dahar on August 31 – the day of Food Movement.
These three locations will not be allowed for any other political rallies on other days of the year, Chatterjee said.
“Kolkata has a history of political rallies and only to give due respect to the history we are allowing certain rallies by certain political parties on specified days,” the mayor said.
According to sources in the KMC, the decision came after the BJP finally got permission to hold Amit Shah’s rally on November 30 in front of the Victoria House following a Calcutta High Court order, which proved to be a major face loss for the Mamata Banerjee government.
“The BJP welcomes the high court judgment directing Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Kolkata police to cooperate with BJP state unit in holding Amit Shahji’s rally at Victoria House. It is a historical judgment since it paves the way for equality to be maintained by local administrations for all political parties and not to be influenced by their political masters,” Siddharth Nath Singh, national BJP secretary had said.
“The Calcutta high court intervened and made it clear that BJP can hold the rally at that spot, at that time and on that date...Now we have won in the court, tomorrow we will win in votes,” Rahul Sinha, BJP state president said after the verdict.