Kolkata: A PIL has been filed in public interest at the Calcutta High Court against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s proposed 'Rath Yatra' in West Bengal touching all 294 assembly constituencies of the state.
Petitioner Rama Prasad Sarkar, a lawyer by profession, claimed that if such rallies are conducted across the entire state then it would affect the law and order situation and will also pose great risks in terms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread in West Bengal.
“These 'Rath Yatras' should not be allowed as they would only increase the risk of COVID-19 contamination. People won’t be maintaining any protocols. So I have urged the High Court to intervene in this matter. The law and order situation will also be affected. The hearing will be on February 5,” mentioned the lawyer.
Notably, the West Bengal BJP is scheduled to start its first 'Rath Yatra' on February 6. Incidentally, the saffron camp had on February 1 sought permission from the ruling Trinamool Congress government to hold the party’s two months-long ‘Parivartan Yatra’ across the state, touching every assembly constituency.
It is pertinent to mention that similar 'Rath Yatras' had been organised by the saffron camp in 2018 ahead of the parliamentary election in 2019, but the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government had not given permission to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to hold the yatra.
As per the initial plan, the programme was scheduled to start from Nabadwip, Coochbehar, Kakdwip, Jhargram, and Tarapith,” mentioned saffron camp sources.
According to the sources, BJP national president JP Nadda is scheduled to inaugurate the first yatra from Nabadwip on February 2 and the second one on February 9.
“The Union Home Minister is scheduled to reach West Bengal to inaugurate a Rath Yatra on February 11 and can also attend the public rally at Thakurnagar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend a rally in Bridage Parade ground in Kolkata in mid-March that will also be the culminating point of all the Rath Yatras,” mentioned the BJP sources.
Meanwhile, the BJP is planning to move court if the ruling Trinamool Congress government doesn't grant permission to hold the rallies.
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said that the the party will carry on with their plan of holding 'Rath Yatra' across the state to inform the people about the ‘true face’ of the ruling TMC.
“We will go as per our schedule. If the Trinamool Congress government doesn’t give permission to hold the yatra we will move court,” said Ghosh.