West Bengal BJP plans alternatives to Rath Yatra after SC verdict; legal battles to continue

In its fresh proposal, the party is likely to cut short its 40-day rathyatra programme to 20 days and propose rathyatras from Midnapore, Baharampur, Diamond Harbour and Kolkata North.

Published: 16th January 2019 12:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2019 12:10 AM   |  A+A-

Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: West Bengal BJP is planning alternatives to its statewide Rath Yatra programme but vowed to continue legal battles over the Rath Yatra after the Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down its petition for the Rath Yatra in its present form and asked it to file a fresh proposal and seek permission from the West Bengal government.

Addressing a press conference after the judgment, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said: "Supreme Court has said that the routes we proposed are communally sensitive and has asked us to make a fresh proposal. We will discuss it with our lawyers and make a fresh proposal. Legal battles will continue. Simultaneously, we will hold political rallies in the districts."

In its fresh proposal, the party is likely to cut short its 40-day Rath Yatra programme to 20 days and propose Rath Yatras from Midnapore, Baharampur, Diamond Harbour and Kolkata North constituencies instead of Tarapith, Coochbehar and Ganga Sagar, BJP sources revealed.

Reacting to the judgment, BJP national general secretary and the party's West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya said: "The state government was not even allowing us to hold political rallies in the district which the Supreme Court has allowed. This is a victory for us."

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said: "We accept the Supreme Court judgment. But if Mamata Banerjee thinks she can muffle the voices of democracy and stop BJP by stopping the Rath Yatra, she is wrong. We will finalise our next step by speaking with the national leaders. We have also planned alternative programmes."

Hailing the Supreme Court judgment, food minister Jyotipriya Mullick said: "Supreme Court understood that BJP was trying to foment communal trouble through this Rath Yatra."

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