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Amit Shah stings Mamata Banerjee over rath yatra, then offers an advice

The BJP had planned three so-called ‘rath yatras’, including the one in Cooch Behar, covering most of the parliamentary seats and 294 assembly constituencies over the next one-and-a-half months.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2018 14:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
amit shah,rath yatra,mamata banerjee
BJP president Amit Shah on Friday launched a sharp attack on the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, starting with her government’s refusal to permit his party to take out a rally in the state and later widening the criticism to cover what he claimed, was the state’s dismal governance record.(BJP Twitter photo)

BJP president Amit Shah on Friday launched a sharp attack on the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, starting with her government’s refusal to permit his party to take out a rally in the state and later widening the criticism to cover what he claimed, was the state’s dismal governance record.

“Mamata Banerjee is strangling democracy in the state.... she is scared,” he said hours after the BJP challenged the court order that refused to allow the party to launch its much-publicised rally that was to be flagged off by BJP chief Amit Shah.

The single judge of the high court had gone by the government’s assessment that the march could go disturb the law and order situation in the state. The BJP’s appeal is to be heard by a two-judge bench.

“She is losing sleep over the BJP’s expansion in the state,” he said.

“I can understand her fear (of declining public support). But I have no solution for it... This is the public’s decision... to support the BJP,” Amit Shah said, delivering a sharp takedown of the Trinamool Congress government’s performance across sectors, right from education to public order.

“In a state where one used to hear Rabindra Sangeet earlier, now we hear bomb blasts,” he said.

The BJP had planned three so-called ‘rath yatras’, including the one in Cooch Behar, covering most of the parliamentary seats and 294 assembly constituencies over the next one-and-a-half months.

Similar marches, which are seen as an effort to expand the party’s footprint for the 2019 elections next year, were scheduled to begin in Gangasagar on December 9 and in Tarapith on December 14.

“I have gone to Bengal 23 times since 2014. There hasn’t been a communal riot after we went. The ones that happened at other times had been engineered by the police, the Trinamool Congress...,” he said.

“We are going to place the entire record before the high court today... What is the basis for the apprehension that there will be violence,” Shah said.

He also offered Mamata Banerjee some unsolicited advice.

“She didn’t ask for it... yet I will give her some advice... Stopping the BJP yatra will not help her but will only make people more angry,” he said, pledging the BJP’s commitment to change the regime in 2019 elections.

The BJP leadership is focusing on West Bengal, which accounts for 42 Lok Sabha seats. Shah has set a target of winning at least 22 of these in 2019.

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 13:09 IST