‘Scared’ Mamata can’t stop BJP from holding rath yatras: Shah

‘Scared’ Mamata can’t stop BJP from holding rath yatras: Shah
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NEW DELHI: Declaring that the BJP’s growth in West Bengal has scared Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP president Amit Shah Friday accused her of “throttling” democracy in the state by denying permission to three ‘yatras’ of his party. Shah’s scathing attack came after the BJP had to postpone three ‘rath yatras’ in the state due to the Mamata Banerjee government refusing permission and the party failing to get any relief from the court so far. “We will definitely carry out all ‘yatras’, nobody can stop us. The BJP is committed to change in West Bengal. The ‘yatras’ have not been cancelled, just postponed,” Shah said at a press conference. His party will follow the judicial process to get permission for them, he said. Shah’s comments came a day after the Calcutta High Court refused the BJP permission to hold a ‘rath yatra’ in Coochbehar, following the state government expressing apprehensions of violence. Shah was scheduled to flag off the ‘rath yatra’ on Friday. The BJP has moved an appeal before a division bench. There was no immediate reaction from Banerjee or her party to Shah’s charges. Training his guns on Banerjee and the Trinamool government, the BJP president said people in the state are ready for change and asserted that the party will win a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha polls. His party’s expansion in the state and win in over 7,000 seats in panchayat polls has rattled the Trinamool Congress chief. It is giving her “sleepless nights” and left her “scared”, Shah said. “She knows these yatras will lay the foundation for change. That is why she is trying to stop them,” he said. According to Shah, the state government often denied permission to his party’s programmes. It had kept writing to the home department and the director general of police to seek their nod for the ‘yatras’ but in vain, Shah alleged. “The way Mamata Banerjee is using her government to trample upon democratic norms is very undemocratic and is throttling democracy,” he said.