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BJP lists new rath-yatra dates

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: December 18, 2018  | 22:33 IST

Kolkata, Dec 18 (PTI) The BJP has set new dates for its proposed 'rath yatra' in West Bengal and is awaiting the high court's nod to conduct it, a party leader said Tuesday, days after being denied permission by the ruling Trinamool Congress. The 'rath yatra', touted as the "save democracy rally", is now being proposed to held on Saturday, next Monday and Wednesday, said state Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar. The dates have been communicated to the Calcutta High Court and the hearing is expected to be held on Wednesday. "We have already prepared three dates for 'ganatantra bachao yatra (save democracy rally)' from Cooch Behar on December 22, from Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district on December 24 and from Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 26 to protest against the Trinamool Congress government's decision to deny permission for the rath yatra," he said. "We are waiting for the court's verdict and we are hopeful that the court will do justice", Majumdar said. The Mamata Banerjee-led government had on Saturday denied permission for the BJP's 'rath yatra' on the ground that it might cause communal tension. Asked to react on the BJP's demand for holding the rally, TMC leader and Food Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said, "The state government had done the right thing by not giving them (BJP) the approval. The intention of the BJP is to create communal tensions in the state." Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pande said the proposed 'rath yatra' would create hurdles in the implementation of various development works. "If the rath yatra takes place, then the district magistrate and other senior district officials will be busy in managing law and order rather than be involved in development works," Pande said on the sidelines of 'Retail India', an event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. The 'rath yatra' was scheduled to start from Cooch Behar district on December 7, but was stalled, following which the BJP had knocked on the high court's door. BJP president Amit Shah was scheduled to flag off three chariots from as many places. The chariots were meant to travel across the state's 42 parliamentary constituencies over the next one-and-a-half months before concluding in Kolkata, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was likely to address a rally. As part of its protest programme, the party had organised a rally in Arambagh area of Hooghly district on Monday. The BJP leaders have also threatened to organise a "civil disobedience" campaign in the state if they are stopped from holding the rallies. PTI PNT BSM KK HMB

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