Halting Rath Yatra won’t halt BJP’s rise in Bengal: Rahul Sinha

Kolkata: In the wake of the Supreme Court order imposing conditional ban on the BJP’s proposed Rath Yatra in Bengal, the party on Tuesday said it will not be cowed down by the tactics of the Mamata Banerjee government and continue its political programmes within the limits of the apex court’s directive.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court denied permission for the Rath Yatra observing that the state government’s apprehensions of violence during the programmes were not “unfounded” and that before taking out the Yatra, the party would have to address the state government’s apprehensions on law and order.

The court, however, allowed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to conduct meetings and other contact programmes, as agreed to by the Bengal government.

“We accept the apex court’s order. We will talk to the party’s central leadership to decide upon our future course of action. We will prepare the blue print of our political meetings and mass rallies,” BJP national Secretary Rahul Sinha told the reporters here.

“If Mamata thinks she will be able to stop BJP by deterring the Yatra, she is wrong. BJP will continue to be on the streets of Bengal. We have several political programmes planned in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will soon come to Bengal,” he claimed.

Sinha further said that the court was “misguided” by the “forged intelligence report” produced by the Mamata Banerjee government about possible breach of peace during the Yatra.

“That was a forged intelligence report. It was not made by the state detective department. It was made by Trinamool Congress to create doubts in the court’s mind. I think the court was misguided by the report,” he said.

Taking a dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the BJP leader said the verdict only proved that the law and order situation has further deteriorated under the current regime as compared to the erstwhile Left Front government in Bengal.

“Today (Tuesday)’s verdict clearly shows that the Chief Minister has failed to fix the law and order situation in the state in the last seven years, rather the situation has further worsened under Banerjee’s regime,” Sinha said.

“A number of ‘Yatras’ were held in Bengal during the Left rule including the Lal Krishna Advani’s ‘Swarna Jayanti Rath Yatra’ in 1997 and 40 day-long rally in 2013, without a single incident of law and order breach. The state government is stopping it for narrow political gains. People of Bengal will not accept it,” he added.

On the other hand, Bengal Congress leadership welcomed the apex court’s verdict and accused the BJP of trying to terrorise people in the name of practising religion.

“We welcome the verdict. Practising religion is good. But BJP always tries to use the religion to divide people and create an atmosphere of terror and hatred. Not allowing the Rath Yatra is the correct decision,” state Congress leader Abdul Mannan said.