WEST BENGAL

No space in Bengal for BJP as Mamata blocks Shah

Mamata-Banerjee2 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

BJP President Amit Shah will be on a three-day visit to Kolkata from September 11 to 13. But Shah's grand plan to hold a citizen's meet at the state-run Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata was cancelled following Mamata Banerjee government's decision not to rent the stadium to BJP.

The RSS, too, was denied permission to hold a meeting of party supremo Mohan Bhagwat in October. The same reason was cited this time, too. The authorities of the Netaji Indoor Stadium said that the renovation works were going and so it would be impossible to rent it out.

“This is completely undemocratic. The chief minister does not have the courage to fight us politically. She is misusing her power. She is afraid of BJP,” said Dilip Ghosh, president of the West Bengal BJP.

Shah instead will hold party meetings at the BJP party office in Kolkata and will address the party leaders at Indian Council for Cultural Relation (ICCR), which is run by the central government's ministry of external affairs.

A similar fate awaited ministers and leaders of BJP in Delhi. Union minister Manoj Sinha, in-charge of the North 24 Parganas and part of Kolkata, was denied permission to address party workers at the local government auditorium. “I am totally spellbound seeing this. There are many governments run by the opposition parties across India. Nowhere such things happen,” said Sinha.

Hansraj Ganagaram Ahir, minister of state for home in Union government, was in Jalpaiguri recently to look after party's expansion. The Union minister was denied the chance to address the party workers at the district government auditorium and instead Ahir had to address the party workers at a congested area in Jalpaiguri.

Ahir, a renowned parliamentarian, did not say much but said, "All I can say is this is unfortunate."

The Mamata Banerjee government has decided not to make arrangements in government institutes to air the Prime Minister's speech on the occasion of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya's birthday. An angry Partha Chatterjee, education minister of West Bengal, said, "We are not supposed to listen to the Union government on this. Education is in concurrent list. We are not bound to listen to Union government's order to celebrate Deen Dayal Upadhyaya's birth anniversary."

The expansion of BJP in the state had marred the core committee meeting of the Trinamool Congress on September 8 at Mamata's residence. Mamata asked partymen who were in consultation with BJP to get out of her party. "Please don't be part of us while making adjustment or maintaining good relation with BJP. Just get out. The door is open," said Mamata.

The recent political developments pins down the fact that in 2019, the battle would be Mamata Banerjee versus BJP in West Bengal.

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