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The West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is determined to block the BJP”s Rath Yatra for which the Calcutta High Court yesterday granted permission. Her government is expected to move the division bench today to challenge the court order.

On Thursday, the HC had allowed the rath yatras saying the organisers will be liable for any untoward incident or damage to public property.

After the state government denied permission to the rally citing law and order problems, the BJP had moved a single bench of the Calcutta High Court on December 17 and proposed December 22, 24 and 26 as fresh dates for the three Rath Yatra rallies.

Acting on a fresh plea filed by the saffron party, Justice Tapobrata Chakraborty allowed the rallies to be taken out, but said the organisers have to inform the police superintendent of the district concerned 12 hours before taking out the yatra.

He said the organisers would be liable for any untoward incident or damage to public property during the rallies and directed the state police to deploy adequate force to ensure there is no breach of law and order.

The court has also asked the organisers to make sure that rallies do not affect the vehicular traffic on the state highways and arterial roads.

BJP welcomed the court verdict and said it will conduct the rallies following all administrative regulations.

“The administrative order passed by the Mamata Banerjee government to disallow the Rath Yatra, has been dubbed as unconstitutional by the court. We welcome the verdict. The BJP will conduct the proposed programme by following all the administrative regulations,” said Bhupender Yadav, party’s national general secretary.

“We believe that BJP will help make the democratic foundations stronger in Bengal and a large number of people will fearlessly vote in favour of BJP in the coming elections,” he said.

The state BJP leadership termed Wednesday’s verdict as a victory of democracy and said they would hold discussion with the party’s senior leadership in Delhi before officially announcing the dates.

“We welcome the verdict. It is a victory of democracy and the democracy-loving people of the state. We will follow the court’s directives to conduct the rallies. The court has not mentioned any dates in its verdict. As of now our dates are as announced earlier. But we will discuss the matter and take the final call,” said state BJP leader Jay Prakash Majumder after the verdict.

“We ask the Trinamool Congress activists not to impede us from conveying our message to the common people. Let the people decide whether they would accept us or not. That is how a democracy should function. So Trinamool should not create any obstruction in our programmes,” he added.

—India Legal Bureau

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