Uncertainty over land forces Bengal BJP to change PM’s rally venue
The change was necessitated after Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) indicated that it cannot give the nod to use its land at Kawakhali in Siliguri town for which the BJP had sought permission.Updated: Mar 29, 2019 20:06 IST
Following uncertainties over getting permission to use a ground in Siliguri on April 3, the Bharatiya Janata Party was forced to change Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public rally venue in the state.
The new venue is a ground that belongs to the railways in New Jalpaiguri on the outskirts of Siliguri, the largest city in north Bengal, said Dipen Pramanik, BJP’s co-convener for North Bengal.
The change was necessitated after Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) indicated that it cannot give the nod to use its land at Kawakhali in Siliguri town for which the BJP had sought permission.
The Prime Minister is supposed to address the rally in Siliguri around 1 pm. Post that, he is expected to reach Kolkata, where he is scheduled to address another rally at the Brigade Parade Ground in the city at 3 pm.
BJP’s Darjeeling district president, Avijit Roy Chowdhury alleged that though they submitted a written application to SJDA on Wednesday seeking permission to use its its land at Kawakhali, the authorities kept them on tenterhooks and the denial was only verbal.
“We cannot take any risk and, therefore, changed the venue,” said Roy Chowdhury.
The SJDA chairman and Trinamool legislator from Alipurduars, Saurav Chakraborty, however, claimed that the authority was not in a position to give permission to use the land as some development work was going on there.
BJP leader and former Trinamool general secretary, Mukul Roy, has already claimed that the turnout in both Siliguri and Kolkata would surpass all previous records.
On Friday, while addressing a public meeting in Alipurduars, BJP president Amit Shah alleged that the Bengal government had earlier denied permission to senior party leaders such as Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Union home minister Rajnath Singh and himself.
“They (Trinamool) will not be able to stop the BJP’s progress in Bengal through such tactics,” remarked Shah.
First Published: Mar 29, 2019 19:58 IST