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Three days before Narendra Modi’s rally in Bengal, BJP yet to get state govt nod

The BJP has alleged that the Trinamool Congress government led by Mamata Banerjee is putting roadblocks in the way of campaign plans of several leaders, including Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

lok sabha elections Updated: Feb 05, 2019 23:08 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Siliguri/Berhampore/Kolkata
BJP,Narendra Modi,Bengal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is supposed to address a rally in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on February 8, but his party is yet to get the go-ahead for the landing of his aircraft in that area, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders said.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is supposed to address a rally in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on February 8, but his party is yet to get the go-ahead for the landing of his aircraft in that area, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders said.

The BJP has alleged that the Trinamool Congress government led by Mamata Banerjee is putting roadblocks in the way of campaign plans of several leaders, including Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Banerjee denies such claims.

“We have submitted all required documents,” Rathindra Bose, the BJP’s north Bengal in-charge, said when asked about the Prime Minister’s rally that is to be held in the Churabhandar area.

Debasish Chakraborty, the BJP’s Jalpaiguri district president, said the administration turned down the party’s application for using grounds of government-run bodies for the event. The party has managed to convince private owners to hold the programme on their land, but the dispute is over the land where Modi’s aircraft will land.

Six farmers have complained to the police that their farmland and crops might be damaged if the event takes place. “Farmers are unwilling to give their consent to make a temporary helipad on their land,” said Manoj Roy, the ruling Trinamool Congress’s Maynaguri block president.

Chakraborty said the BJP will compensate farmers for any crop damage. Jalpaiguri’s district magistrate refused to comment on the controversy. Separately, former Madhya Pradesh CM Chauhan reacted sharply to the cancellation of one of his rallies on Wednesday, asking Banerjee’s administration who she is “afraid” of.

“The Constitution permits all political parties to present their stand before the public...,” he said on Tuesday.

While Chouhan’s Berhampore rally has been cancelled, he is supposed to take part in another event, which could take place in Kolkata’s Dum Dum . “Though we are yet to get permissions for the use of ground and microphones, we are determined to hold the meeting,” said Jay Prakash Majumdar, the BJP’s state unit vice-president.

Sayantan Basu, the BJP’s general secretary in Bengal, alleged that the state administration has so far not given written permission for the use of microphones for any of his party’s rallies other than those held by Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

But Banerjee said the BJP was applying for permissions hours before its programmes, and that was making the process difficult. “How many meetings have BJP leaders held (in Bengal)! Modi and Amit Shah held meetings. But the leaders are alleging denial of permission,” Banerjee said at the protest site in Kolkata where she staged a demonstration till Tuesday evening against the Central Bureau of Investigation’s attempt to question the city’s police commissioner in connection with a chit fund scandal.

As the war of words continued, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath travelled more than 50km by road from Bokaro in Jharkhand to Bengal’s Purulia, where he addressed a rally on Tuesday.

His helicopter was not given permission to land in Bengal. Adityanath was due to hold rallies last Sunday as well, but had to make his speech over the phone after being denied permission for the same reason.

First Published: Feb 05, 2019 23:07 IST

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