In a major blow to the West Bengal government, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday allowed the BJP to stage its mega rally on November 29 at the same spot in the city where the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress organises its annual “Martyrs’ Day” rally on July 21.
The BJP rally, which will be staged to protest against irregularities in implementation of the 100-day job scheme under MGNREGA in West Bengal, is expected to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as well as Union Ministers of State Giriraj Singh and Niranjan Jyoti.
On Monday, the court single-judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Manta had overruled the denial of police permission for the rally and allowed the BJP to conduct it at the place of the latter’s choice.
But on Wednesday, the state government approached the division bench of Chief Justice T.S Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya challenging the single-judge bench order.
However, the division bench on Friday also upheld the order of the single judge bench and allowed the BJP to go ahead with its programme.
It also said that although the BJP will have to conduct the rally as per the conditions and restrictions of the Kolkata Police, the latter will not be allowed to impose any additional or new restriction on the organisers.
The court’s observation was that if a particular programme (read Trinamool Congress’s “Martyrs’Day” rally(, can be conducted at the spot in central Kolkata, there is no reason why a similar rally by any other organiser cannot be staged at the same place.
“In that case we will have to cancel the July 21 rally as well. Rather we will have to order for the cancellation of all public programmes. Will that be good? What is the necessity for creation of political complexities,” the Chief Justice observed.
While he state unit of BJP has welcomed the decision, the Trinamool Congress is yet to comment.