Kolkata: Upping the ante, a combative BJP president Amit Shah has said he will definitely hold a rally in Kolkata on August 11 and dared the state government to arrest him, after his party leaders claimed that the local police had not yet given permission for the event.
“It does not matter whether I get permission or not, I will definitely go to Kolkata. If the state government wants, it can arrest me,” Shah was quoted as saying by ANI. After Shah’s dare, the Bengal police clarified that no rally request had been turned down. “Amit Shah can go wherever he wants. Who is stopping him,” Mamata Banerjee told NDTV between her rounds of meetings with opposition leaders, including L K Advani. Four years ago, Kolkata’s civic body had refused permission to Amit Shah for a rally. The BJP finally obtained permission from the Calcutta High Court.
Shah’s proposed rally underscores his intention to build the issue as a major poll plank in Mamata’s state as Lok Sabha elections are barely eight months away. As of now, the BJP has minimal presence in the state assembly with just three seats. In 2014, the party won just two Lok Sabha seats from the state. But over the last two years, the BJP has managed to dislodge the Left and become the main opposition party in the state. The fresh flare up between Shah and Banerjee comes amid a war of words over the National Register of Citizen issue in Assam. Both leaders have accused each other of compromising national interests for the sake of vote-bank politics.
Two FIRs against Didi
The Assam Police have registered two FIRs against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after receiving complaints that her statements are divisive and may create communal disharmony in Assam. On Tuesday, speaking at an event, Mamata had said the exclusion of 40 lakh people from the National Register of Citizens may lead to “bloodbath” and “civil war” in the country. Of the two complaints, one has been lodged by a BJP functionary. This is not the first time that FIRs have been registered against Mamata for her comments on the NRC. In January this year, three FIRs were registered against her.